Cindy Speaker:  Good afternoon. My name is Cindy Speaker. Welcome to our broadcast today. I have with me as my guest, one of my very favorite guests, Mr. David Daggett, an attorney with Daggett Shuler Law. David, thanks for being with us today.

David Daggett:   Thank you, Cindy. It’s good to be with you.

Cindy Speaker: Well, you are a very busy person. You just have so many balls in the air that you’re juggling.

David Daggett: Well, I was called hyperactive as a child and I still don’t let much grass grow under my feet, so, yeah, I stay busy.

Cindy Speaker:  That’s for sure. That’s for sure. What’s that?

David Daggett: I don’t get in trouble though.

Cindy Speaker:  Well, I don’t know about that. That’s not what I hear. Well, we’re going to talk about an important topic today and that is childhood obesity and an active family lifestyle.

David Daggett: Yes.

Cindy Speaker: Before we get started, I wanted to ask you about something. I heard that you’re going to be the race announcer for the 34th Annual Mistletoe Event. Tell us about that.

David Daggett: Yes, for the past several years, I’ve been the announcer, an emcee for the Mistletoe Run and I think, I’m not sure maybe Kathryn in my office can count. I think that’s going to be my 18th event that I have emceed.

Cindy Speaker:Wow.

David Daggett:  Now, it’s this year and I don’t know if there’s any other way I could possibly have more fun. But the Mistletoe Race is probably the last one I’d do of the year. That is, it’s always the first Saturday in December. This year, that’s December 2nd. It’s a big race. Last year, we had over 3,000 participants and that’s between the One Mile Fun Run that starts at 7:50 in the morning. The 5K Race starts at 8:20 and then the main event is the Half Marathon which starts at 8:30. And I think I just put those out of order because we changed them this year.

The Half Marathon starts at 8:20 and the 5K starts at 8:30. They’ll run on the same course at the same time, so there’s a lot of excitement. It’s a whole lot of fun.

Cindy Speaker:  That’s awesome.

David Daggett: Yeah, lots of families come out. As you can imagine, getting close to the holidays, you have people from out of town because it’s the achievement of a lifetime for a lot of people. In what you alluded to at the beginning, the signature cause is fighting childhood obesity.

Cindy Speaker: That’s great.

David Daggett: I’m so proud of our local Y that they’ve embraced that in over the last number of years. They have done a lot of efforts to fight childhood obesity. In fact, right there in our YMCA, we have a test kitchen that’s run by the Brenner FIT organization out of Brenner Children’s Hospital. That’s a whole another conversation, but they have a test kitchen right there at the Y, teaching family healthy cooking habits, healthy eating habits, those sorts of things.

It’s a signature event, but it’s not a one-time happening for our local YMCA.

Cindy Speaker: How about that?

David Daggett:  It’s a very important movement and cause. In our area, it is pretty significant. We have significant challenges in Forsyth County which is where Winston-Salem is. We are, I think, either a third or fourth county in the United States being the worst for food shortages for young people. We have a lot of hungry kids in our area which paradoxically, you also end up with childhood obesity.

People have a hard time understanding that but here’s kind of the dynamic that goes on, is in a poorer neighborhoods where you have hungry kids, you also don’t have grocery stores because it’s not the most economically feasible place for the big grocery store chains to put their food markets. What you end up having is more convenient stores. People buying something to eat as they have money which tends not to be the highest quality food.

The other paradox is high-quality good food costs more than cheap food that’s filled with a lot of calories. We have that interesting … It’s really a paradox to me that we have that in our community. I think, as you know, I’ve spent a good bit of time helping Hope Ministries which has helped our people eat. I get emotional over this stuff, but we go out on Sundays and serve lunches to poor kids in our community. And people that haven’t done that, they just would never imagine what we have right here in our community which some people think is rather affluent. It’s a real paradox that we have.

Cindy Speaker: Yeah.

David Daggett:  I’m straying a little far from the subject but I’m kind of passionate about it.

Cindy Speaker:  I can see that you are. That’s so precious. Can you just tell me briefly about the Hope Project?

David Daggett: Well, the Hope Project is basically … What happens is a lot of the underprivileged kids are on the free breakfast and free lunch program at their schools but what happens is they don’t get a good meal over the weekends. What HOPE does is prepare and get packed up in coolers on Saturday, healthy lunch bags for kids and bags of produce to hand out to adults in their family.

Cindy Speaker:  That’s beautiful. It’s just beautiful.

David Daggett: One of the more rewarding things, our whole family participates. My wife and children, we go out and do it. After church on Sundays, you meet and then we go to targeted poor areas, poor housing complexes, governmental housing complexes around town and hand out the lunches and the produce to the needy kids and families. It’s highly, highly rewarding.

We also hang around and interact with them. Sometimes, we have Wake Forest athletes that come and join us. It’s really a great project.

Cindy Speaker: It sounds like it.

David Daggett: Our local clerk of court is chair of the board, and she does a terrific job of promoting and getting people involved. It’s quite an important thing.

Cindy Speaker: That’s beautiful. That is just beautiful. I can see that it touches you deeply.

David Daggett:  Yeah.

Cindy Speaker: Yeah. Well, let’s talk about this issue of childhood obesity and let’s talk about why it’s so important to establish an active lifestyle as a young person.

David Daggett:  There’s two sides to it, basically. It’s pretty simple. An active lifestyle and healthy eating habits. What the research shows is that if you develop poor habits in that regard when you’re young, that carries through for the rest of your life. The unfortunate thing is childhood obesity is one of the biggest epidemics that we have in the United States where now, estimates are 30% or so of our children are in the obese category. That’s pretty significant.

Cindy Speaker:   It is.

David Daggett:  And if you’re obese as a child, the statistics then are 90%, you’re going to be obese as an adult. It portends a pretty negative future for these kids. A lot of it is raising awareness, teaching and education on dietary habits and providing programs and activities to get kids active and moving. A lot of people think of exercise as, “Oh, I got to go out and run, or I got to do some organized activity.” No, you just have to move and have fun. That can be through any sort of sport. It can be through dance. It can be through physical games at the YMCA, that sort of thing.

Cindy Speaker:  Yeah. Well, tell us… go ahead, go ahead.

David Daggett:  It’s very multidimensional particularly for the kids coming up today because you also have things like being addicted to the iPhone and the screen and technology and computer games. Well, if you’re doing that, you’re not being active, and so there’s a bit of a cause and effect there that as parents, we have to be really cognizant of and make sure that we keep our children active, because it’s also a societal issue.

Cindy Speaker:  Oh, yeah.

David Daggett: At some point, we’re all going to have to bear the cost of what we’re creating in the younger generation with health habits. We’re seeing much, much higher rates of childhood diabetes, for example.

Cindy Speaker:  Is that right?

David Daggett:  Than we’ve ever seen before in history. And the obesity leads to not only diabetes but of course, heart issues. Research is showing even cancer and diseases like that. You combine all that together and it’s a focused interest that we really all need to have in trying to combat the societal issue. And doing it through positive motivation is very, very important.

Cindy Speaker:  Yeah, well-

David Daggett: Yeah. Young people are trainable in those habits. They continue through a lifetime and the habits are something that once you work on them, positive habits are just as easy to carry forward as bad habits are to carry forward. Instead of training bad habits, we need to help our young people to train good habits.

Cindy Speaker:  So, just a few final takeaways, what do you recommend to families, maybe young families, they want their kids to be active. They want an active family lifestyle. Where do they start?

David Daggett:  Well, they start by having fun, the way we used to have fun when we were little. Getting outside and playing and having the kid playing and being outside in different places. The one thing we did when the kids were little, we don’t have a big yard but we had a place where we could put a little garden and let them grow their own vegetables and enjoy their own vegetables and get used to, “Vegetables are good because they come from the earth and that’s great.” Just habits both on dietary habits and physical movement and exercise habits starting when they’re young and if they develop that, those habits then have a very high probability of staying with them as they progress through life.

Cindy Speaker: Yeah, that’s great advice.

David Daggett:  Yeah, and you know me, I love our young people.

Cindy Speaker: I know you do. I know you do.

David Daggett: I think they’re the best, brightest, the most motivated group of young people I’ve ever seen. What they need from us is guidance and direction and getting them on that right path and then showing them how to be healthy and active and have fun and incorporate that in your lifestyle for a very happy, healthy, meaningful life.

Cindy Speaker:  Yeah, yeah. That’s great. Well, you know, David, I think in addition, it almost sounds like when do you have time to be a lawyer because you’re so busy doing everything else. But you are an attorney and I’d like you to tell us how someone can reach you if they have a legal issue because frankly, I think … I know for me when I choose someone that I want to work with, a service provider, this is exactly what I want to hear, somebody that’s involved in the community, the kind of passion I hear from you. I honestly applaud you for that. How can they reach you?

David Daggett:  The way you do it is get up early in the morning and get in the office early and get going, going, and going. But yeah, they can go to our website at DaggettShulerLaw.com or call us 336-724-1234 and we have a great team here that just does a really good job. So proud of everybody here.

Cindy Speaker: Yes, you do. Yes, you do. Well, David, thanks for your time today. I think we had a few technical glitches but that happens when you’re recording over the web so I hope that people will understand that.

David Daggett:  Yeah, sure.

Cindy Speaker:  But thanks for being with us. To those of you that are watching, you can leave your questions and comments on this page and I know David will answer them. Thanks, everybody. We’ll see you again soon.