Saturday, October 25, 2008

Please help me figure this out...

I know that healthy means a lot of different things to different people, but I am always humored when I see announcements like this health screening/fall fest with trick or treating (i.e. lots of candy), pizza, and soda for all.

I've had concerned friends call me and ask if it is OK with me if they serve fried chicken (and other "evil" foods) when I come over to their house (I know one of my friends who did this reads this blog. Don't worry, you're not the only one, so I'm not singling you out). I appreciate their concern, given I am a nutritionist. There are probably some that would be offended. I'm not. I hardly ever eat fried chicken, so it doesn't bother me when I do. So just let me make it known that I do not customarily make nutritional analysis in my head of what my friends are eating. And if you know me, I L-O-V-E pizza.

But back to the health fair... I guess I just scratch my head sometimes when there are foods offered at health fairs that are high in added sugars and saturated fats, which is associated with poor health outcomes. Sure, that one pizza slice and soda won't kill you (And it sounds much more attractive than say, a roasted chicken dinner). It's the lifestyle and behavior patterns an individual has that promotes or hinders health. But I still am trying to work this all out in my mind.

Granted, I wouldn't be one to protest this generous offering (pizza ain't cheap nowadays), but am I being oversensitive? Maybe I have food discrimination. What do you think? Should these be mutually exclusive (i.e. never offered together), or not?


  1. I'm the one who posted the event and you do make an interesting point about serving soda pop at a health fair. Though I'm not sure what they handed out for trick or treating. But I'm still grateful, particularly with the fact of where St. Ignatius is located, that they offered this free health fair. I hope that many children in and around the near west side of Cleveland were able to attend.

  2. Lorelei,
    I often wonder if I am too critical when it comes to the foods that are provided. Do I read too much into these things? I wonder if I were part of the organizing committee, what would be an appropriate response? Would it be better to ignore it, or to work out a solution?

  3. The Parma Mother's Group did a community fair and bear clinic. WIC was there and other family resources, plus the local produce market gave away water and bags with fruit and veggies. So sometimes these things are healthy.


  4. Hey Renata! Great food for thought... pardon the pun. I love how you think about these things. You know what I would love? if you posted a few weeks of sample menus from your kitchen- sometimes I need some fresh inspiration for healthy, home-cooked meals. I am a mostly from-scratch mommy-cook, but I always loved what you brought to our little apartment picnics, and know you have good ideas!

    Of course, that wouldn't help with your 'sleep-deprived' state, now would it? (Love the profile picture...)

    Stay in touch...

  5. Hey Tami,

    Sample menus, ha ha! I don't have my life that organized right now :-) Maybe I need to ask what my readers do.

    But I have been needing to post about a bunch of useful food blogs that will provide endless inspiration.

    Great to "hear" from you,

  6. I think if you were on the organizing committee, working out a solution would be good (like making a suggestion for alternatives to soda pop). But I'm guessing it might have to be a compromise. I attend church near where this health fair took place, and, for example, a few years ago I volunteered serving the high school youth group one night a week and we would provide a dinner. While we often served pizza, or spaghetti and meatballs, tacos, etc. with "juice", we tried to introduce something healthy with it as well. The biggest hit was fruit, particularly strawberries. Point being, I think in some cases we need to introduce healthy alternatives slowly, and maybe this health fair was a good start for some people to at least be more aware of their health.

  7. ClevelandMom (Lorelei),

    I think that is a very reasonable solution. Thanks for your suggestion.