World Food Day.
By Tiffany Wiguna PGY-1
Let’s talk food. Food is necessary for life. It helps our bodies grow and function, and it provides us the nutrients we need to be healthy and strong. Food brings our families and communities together, carries rich cultural and family traditions, and plays a big role in our favorite family memories. However, America today has a huge problem. All the way from the manufacturers who make our food, to the advertisers who sell our food, the stores and restaurants where we get our food, and our own homes where we eat our food, we have pushed and exceeded the limit of the amount of food we eat. Not only that, but we have sacrificed good healthy quality nutrients for the largest sugar and fat contents in history.
This food epidemic has a huge toll on the health of our nation, largely contributing a record high of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and liver disease that end up costing Americans more than $150 billion per year. How about our kids? They feel the biggest impact from dental problems from high-sugar drinks and foods, obesity, and diabetes, which should be “adult diseases” but are affecting more and more of our youth today. Our children are consuming 50-70% more added sugars than recommended by dietary guidelines, driving them prematurely into health problems and impacting their performance and development as children, students, and young community members.
This October, we invite you to come together as a community for the health of our families and to bring back the goodness of food. Every October 24th-25th in all 50 states, Americans celebrate Food Day, a day to inspire Americans to enjoy real nutritious food, set up healthy eating habits, and to push for healthy changes in our food policies. We as a community need sustainable healthy food sources and habits, an effort that needs to involve everyone from policy makers to each member of our homes.
Ask your pediatrician what their recommendations are for helping your family maintain a healthy balanced food lifestyle. Visit goodfoodla.org, healthyfoodamerica.org, Los Angeles Food Policy Council on Facebook, or follow @GoodFoodLA on Twitter for more information on how to start fighting the food epidemic at home and how to join in community efforts in Los Angeles towards healthy delicious and nutrient packed food!