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PNS Daily Newscast - September 30, 2020 

Trump and Biden square off in a debate marked by interruptions; COVID-19 highlights neglect of undocumented residents.

2020Talks - September 30, 2020 

Last night was filled with interruptions at the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

Report: Rural Minnesota Growing -- the Wrong Way

January 13, 2009

Lyons, NE – Rural Minnesota is growing – the wrong way. According to the Center for Rural Affairs (CFRA), country-dwellers have pulled ahead of their urban counterparts, in terms of gaining weight and neglecting exercise. Jon Bailey, CFRA's rural research and analysis program director, says it's a turnaround from tradition that has major health implications.

"Rural Americans, especially children, seem to be more at risk of leading unhealthy lives and all the ramifications that come with that – diseases, such as diabetes, and shorter life expectancies."

Bailey cites the lifestyle changes in rural areas. Kids spend more time in front of television and computer screens, and less on outdoor activities; not as many adults have active jobs, such as farming or forestry. Plus, the population is generally older, less educated and poorer than in urban areas. All are demographic trends that contribute to obesity, says Bailey.

Another basic obstacle to well-being, in his opinion, is that we react to, rather than try to prevent, medical problems.

"Instead of a healthcare system, we have a 'sick-care' system, where we take care of people's diseases and conditions. As Congress talks about reform, they do need to include, 'How do we promote wellness, how do we promote health?'"

Obesity, he warns, will soon pass tobacco use as the top cause of death nationally. But, he adds, we can reduce the risks. Suggestions include a healthy diet and regular exercise; and schools and communities that promote and offer more opportunities for physical fitness.

See the report online, at

Jim Wishner, Public News Service - MN