Why Have Broccoli When You Can Have Fries?
Jasmine Guest | 05/22/2018
Hey Lady, Where Are My Fries?
As a child my mother would always tell me the story of the “Hey Lady, Where are my Fries?” incident, and till this day it’s a hilarious inside joke between us. I was a very picky eater as a child, and the thought of eating broccoli was the last thing I wanted on my plate. The only thing I would chow down on were McDonald’s fries – talk about an unhealthy diet for a kid!
As the story goes … My mother and I were in the McDonald’s drive through, and I almost went into shock that the attendant forgot my fries! The line was born: “Hey Lady, Where are my fries?” It has been an inside joke with our family ever since.
My unhealthy eating habits as a child had serious consequences later in life as my growth and height were severely stunted. Many children throughout the country suffer from nutritional deficiencies and disease due to their lack of nutritional substance in their daily diet. This is due to several reasons:
- There is a lack of education and resources for organic and healthy food options, especially in impoverished areas.
- Many children suffer from hunger. In fact, one out of five children in South Carolina struggle from hunger.
- Low income families rely on outsourced food from school or afterschool programs to subsidize their hungry bellies.
- For many children, the thought of a healthy food diet is far removed from their way of life.
The introduction of good or bad food choices in a child’s life has lasting effects on their physical and mental health. The diet of a child sets the pace and mentality for the food choices they will make well into adulthood. South Carolina’s leading causes of death are attributed to cancer and heart disease, which are proven to be diet related.
What actions can be taken to increase awareness of healthy lifestyle choices in the underprivileged population?
Through proper education, action can be taken to reduce health disparities and increase the participation of healthy diet choices. More funding is needed to increase the number of health educators and communications of health and wellness to communities.
The demonstration of healthy food preparation is another effective practice that visually teaches how to cook and eat healthy. Another reason for high rates of childhood obesity is the infrequency of cooking healthy meals at home. Many families just aren’t aware of how to cook delicious tasting vegetable dishes.
By understanding how to improve my own health and wellness, I have grown to love broccoli and found wonderful ways to incorporate vegetables and fruit in my every day diet. My own personal health journey has not only changed my perspective, but the perspective of family and friends as well. Spreading health and wellness is a wonderful gift to others that truly keeps on giving!