Healthy living improves lives - Brownsville Herald: Letters To The Editor

Healthy living improves lives

Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2019 11:12 pm


Your editorial in The Brownsville Herald, “Keep moving,” printed March 3, was right on target, pointing out the importance of developing healthy lifestyles in our region. Obesity has reached epidemic proportions, especially in the Rio Grande Valley, and is a major risk factor for developing prediabetes and diabetes. A worldwide explosion of lowcost, unhealthy foods and lack of exercise due to technology such as cellphones, gaming and computers are main contributors.

Pre-diabetes means your blood sugar (glucose) is higher than normal but not yet diabetes.

Other risk factors for prediabetes include lack of physical activity, a close relative, such as a brother, sister or parent with diabetes, and women who had a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.

Research has shown that over time up to 70 percent of people who have pre-diabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes. Full-blown diabetes will in turn increase the risk of blindness due to diabetic retinopathy, heart and vascular disease, such as heart attacks and stroke, limb amputations and kidney failure. This of course comes at an enormous cost economically, in addition to loss of quality of life and even early death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that 1 in every 3 adults, or 84.1 million people in the U.S., have pre-diabetes, of which 90 percent don’t know they have it. Unfortunately, this is on top of a growing child and adolescent population that is overweight or obese.

Luckily, the CDC found that a 5 percent to 7 percent weight loss in a person considered to be a prediabetic can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes by 58 percent, and in those age 60 and above by 71 percent! In a person weighing 200 pounds this translates into a 10-14 pound weight loss.

Research has demonstrated that lifestyle changes such as eating healthy coupled with routine exercise and subsequent weight loss can significantly reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Creating a healthy environment such as bikeand- walk paths and encouraging people to become more physically active is of paramount importance as a first step to curtail this epidemic.

Check with your doctor first to see if you are at risk for pre-diabetes or diabetes before you can safely embark on an exercise program.

Thank you, Brownsville Herald, for featuring such a timely article on building healthy communities and congratulations to the people involved in creating this environment for all to enjoy. Kudos for those involved in building the community gardens and those who contribute in providing healthy food choices at our Saturday Farmers’ Market.

Roberto Robles, M.D.

Heart Institute of Brownsville Wellness Center


Tejanos honored


Texas history has long forgotten those eight Tejanos in Capt. Juan Seguin’s company that fought and died for Texas at the Battle of the Alamo. Seguin would live to fight another day at the Battle of San Jacinto when he was sent out of the Alamo for reinforcements and supplies, but promised to come back. When he did come back, the Alamo had already fallen.

What historical documentation history has about those eight brave Tejanos, we have from Enrique Esparza who was 8 years old at the time of the battle. Adina de Zavala, the granddaughter of Lorenzo de Zavala, a signer of Texas Declaration of Independence and first vice-president of Texas, interviewed an 80-yearold Esparza who witnessed his father, Gregorio, manning the cannon in the rear of the mission chapel to the final end. Enrique was so grateful

to his Uncle Francisco Esparza of the Mexican Army, Gregorio’s brother, receiving permission from Gen. Santa Anna to give a Christian burial for his father, being the only Alamo defender whose body was not piled on the burning funeral pyre.

Everybody in the Valley celebrates Cinco de Mayo and Dieciseis de Septiembre, remembering the brave Mexican soldiers who fought and died for Mexican Independence, but who remembers the brave Texan and Tejano soldiers who fought and died for Texas Independence?

On March 9, the city of San Benito celebrated the 12th annual Texas Independence Day event at the San Benito Fair Grounds with three battle re-enactments, including the Battle of the Alamo, to honor and remember the courage and bravery of all our Texas and Tejano heroes who died on March 6, 1836.

Viva Tejas y vivan los Tejanos.

Jack Ayoub


A voice of experience


I want to share how a person of advanced age is navigating the challenges present in all levels of our society.

At the age of 78, I had the opportunity to travel four times to Ajijic, Jalisco, within the last year. It is a magnificent place, with excellent weather and a lot of art. Situated between the Lago de Chapala to the south and the Sierra de San Juan Cosala to the north, it offers a great cultural atmosphere where one can meet people not only from the USA but from Germany, Canada and other places. To view the USA from the outside is good.

We can see that Mexico, like the USA, has the same economic model: capitalism. However, Mexico is not imperialist and I can see and feel the difference.

In the USA, we face many challenges at present. I will concentrate on the border wall, immigration and militarization of the Rio Grande Delta region.

The issue of immigrants can be solved, or reduced, if people are not displaced. All we have to do is look at our country’s military and covert interventions in many of the countries from which migrants are currently fleeing. A wall is not the answer.

Border walls and barriers are weapons to promote racism instead of alleviating the inequality that creates economic migrants in the first place. My suggestion is to get involved with your elected officials and express your positions to protect the immigrants, especially the children. Question and follow the money: Which corporations are benefiting by building the wall and housing the immigrants? Militarization is a business in which a few corporations make profits and the community is exposed to less security.

My other approach is to avoid following only the mainstream media for information. Remember, they’re corporations to make profits. Check with alternative media. Look around and verify facts.

Finally, the month of March celebrates International Women’s Day and I want you to enjoy it and, if you want to review the issue, see the movie On The Basis of Sex. The 2018 film, which profiles the extraordinary life and career of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, verifies the work involved by others to enjoy more rights for women right here in the USA.

Follow the American Civil Liberties Union, which is engaged in litigation to preserve our free speech rights here in Texas. Our right to free speech or to boycott is being challenged and we need to protect it.

Remember, no race has a monopoly on beauty, intelligence or strength. There is room for everyone. My solidarity and our security is more guaranteed when we respect others and promote justice. War and interventions creates the opposite.

Yolanda Garza Birdwell

Laguna Vista