Can “they” really get their plates in shape?

Continuing on the same prospect of National Nutrition Month, (previous post) I have realized that I have omitted to share with you some insights that it had provoked in my mind. The campaign “Get your plate in shape” I believe , wants to compel all social classes to eating right. Despite the simplicity that the campaign entails, I could not help but think about the minority who has brought up to my attention that the minimum they get makes it hard for them to buy fruits and vegetables [often proven to be more expensive than buying more carb based goods such as pasta, rice etc which attributes appear to be longer lasting].

Credit : John Russel from Flickr

Credit @ USDA

So then, I thought, what about SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits? Can this federal program help them into eating right? Is it not what it encompasses anyway? It turned out that the benefits that they receive exclude hot foods or food that can be eaten in the store. So then I thought what about the elderly, the homeless, or the disabled? How do they get access to readily edible foods? How do they go about cooking or consuming healthy food?

Well, in response to these questionings, I have read an article or rather commentary/analysis that mentioned SNAP benefits. One of this article’s highlights is that some States such as Rhode Island have passed exceptions to the prepared food restrictions; they were cognizant that certain groups of people may find it difficult or even impossible to prepare food for themselves. The article states: “Now, Rhode Island SNAP recipients who are homeless, disabled, or elderly may use their benefits to purchase prepared foods at federally-approved restaurants in the pilot program”. Although the USDAhas approved the purchase of comestible foods in Rhode Island, only some Subway restaurants have allowed the distribution of their products to customers using the SNAP plan.

Credit :Ronald Tan from flikcr

This finding has brought me to ponder about the question of choice. The programs are here, available to those in need of them, they make campaigns to promote healthy behaviors henceforth encouraging individual responsibility. But, how does the poor/disadvantaged go about making healthy choices in their meals if somehow what they can access is only limited to what the government allows them to consume? Basically, how can the poor simply get their plates in shape?

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killcancersavebirthdays

Hello everyone,
Today is the day to kill the creature cancer. Did you know that you can be cured from cancer just by eating some fruits and veggies. According to Dr. David Servan-Schrveiber, there are some fruits and vegetables that are cancer fighters. Now lets look at some disease-fighting fruits. I’m going to start with the various berries that we all are familiar such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and cranberries. These fruits contain an acid called ellagic and has a large number of polyphebnols, which inhibits tumor growth. Two polyphenols found in berries, anthocyanidins and proantho-cyanidins, promote cancer cell death. That’s great lets put on our boxing gloves (fruits) and knock out Mr. Cancer.

Now lets see what we have as our vital veggie cancer fighters. Well, my favorites brussels sprouts, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, sounds familiar. All these veggies contain sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinols (I#Cs), which…

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Get your plate in shape

This month, as I have mentioned in a previous blog post, is National Nutrition Month.However, what I have not mentioned is the campaign developed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics “Get your plate in shape”.

Credit @ eatrigth.org/NNM

Credit @ eatrigth.org/NNM

Of course, we all know nutrition is important. Public health professionals/nutritionists are trying their best to remediate any bad eating habits predominant in certain populations using models and campaigns fighting these issues. This campaign highlights ways for the public to make informed food choices. Basically, without wanting to be redundant, it gives advices and incentives on how to get your plate in shape.

Getting your plates in shape, a blunt summary of what I’ve read usually encompass eating fewer foods which are high in solid fats or high in sugars like pastries. Well, we are not saying that you should totally eradicate the consumption of these types of food, but that they should be used as occasional treats rather than typical meal options. Remember also to avoid eating lots of salt since it may increase your risk for heart disease which is one of the leading causes of death in the US.

So, here are some highlights on diet change that I urge you to adopt and encourage others to do so as well.

Choose foods and drinks with little or no added sugars. Always think about eating fresh fruit salad for dessert. If you are the juice type, its best to use 100% juice made.

Eat fewer foods that are high in solid fats. Grill, broil, bake or steam your foods instead of frying. Cook with healthy oils

Cut back on sodium. It’s always best to prepare your own meal using fresh produces. If at the restaurant avoid adding salt to meals, pasta for instance. More important learn how to read the nutrition label on sodium for canned or frozen foods. Instead of salt, use herbs and spices to season foods, and avoid salting food before tasting it.

For more info please visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website on Eat Right.

Graphic: Americans’ annual consumption

The Run Commuter

Here I mean “graphic” to mean both a visual representation of what our nation is ingesting, and the more colloquial sense of looking upon something that churns both one’s soul and stomach.

I saw this image from Visual Economics, representing Americans’ average ages, heights and weights, and the things we eat. The graphic’s title, too, seems to have two meanings: the informational sense of what we are eating, and the critical questioning.

Americans eat candy for breakfast

GADZOOKS.

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The Apple Pushers

5 pushcarts One Dream 

The Center for Health Media and Policy(CHMP)’s  Envision Health: Film & New Media Series  is thrilled to present to you, a documentary that pertains to many: The Apple Pushers. by Mary Mazzio. The event is hosted by Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab, NYC Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund. Please RSVP below.

The Apple Pushers is not the typical immigrant mogul success story. It is a documentary film which follows immigrant street vendors whom have come from various parts of the world. Each motivated by a dream and aspiring to a better life, they strive to make it to New York. The five vendors are followed throughout the cities inner cities and their stories are revealed with all the trials and tribulations, their path to becoming Apple Pushers. They are part of an ongoing project to help solve the food crisis and diminish obesity rates, by providing fresh fruits and vegetables into the inner cities of New York.

Please take a look at the trailer

The Apple Pushers’ main focus is the inaccessibility to fresh fruits and vegetables of the low income residents. Those “food deserts” are the nests of obesity in New York. Another underlying issue presented by the film is that of immigrants. The movie shows humility, and recognition towards the immigrants and their position within the system. Many people have worked to make the message in this film spread to other leaders.

 The Apple Pushers, narrated by Edward Norton, tackles socio-political aspects of food access, immigration, and entrepreneurship. It is produced by Mary Mazzio along with Tom Scott (founder of Nantucket Nectars and CEO of PLUM TV) and Christine Vachon (producer of Mildred Pierce and the Academy Award-winning Boys Don’t Cry) and has for Executive Producer, Laurie Tisch.

 The Apple Pushers will be presented on March 20th 2012 at the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College. The reception will begin at 6pm followed by a screening and a panel of discussion.

Every moment is a deciding moment

Today is Women and Girls HIV/AIDS awareness day

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS awareness Day is a time to come together to offer support, teach women and girls about how to protect themselves and their loved ones, the importance of getting tested, and how to live with and manage HIV and AIDS. According to CDC : In 2009, women comprised 51% of the US population and accounted for 23% of new HIV infections. Of the total number of new HIV infections among women, 57% were among black women, 21% were in white women, and 18% were in Latina women.

Because of their weakened immune system,  HIV/AIDS women/girls  need to get the necessary nutrientsto survive. Most importantly, one must know how to protect themselves to avoid further damages to your body. Some of you might wonder if it is safe for HIV person to eat in restaurants. I  say yes! The important is to be careful. Always order food that is well done. Do not order any raw or lightly steamed fish or shellfish, such as oysters, sushi, clams… All fish should be cooked until done. Make sure you build a solid and healthy meal with all the necessary nutrients and making sure you get the necessary amount of carbohydrates, proteins.

Credit:Photo from Shapedetroit

Here are some advices for people living with HIV/AIDS,please eat defensively

  • Protect yourself from many infections by preparing food and drinks properly.
  • Meat, poultry , and fish can make you sick if they are raw, undercooked, or spoiled.
  • Raw fruits and vegetables are safe to eat  if you wash them carefully first.

Nutrition is also important for women who are breastfeeding

All mothers should increase their food intake and consume food rich in nutrients during lactation. Breastfeeding uses energy and other nutrients that need to be replaced to keep a mother healthy. Nutritional support is particularly important for the HIV-infected mother because HIV puts an additional strain on her energy and nutrient stores and may affect her appetite.

Photo Credit from Momzelle

The CDC policy continues to be that HIV-infected women  in the United States should not breastfeed their infants. Even If you are taking medication or following the antiretroviral therapy,the CDC  recommends that infected women in the United States refrain from breastfeeding to avoid postnatal transmission of HIV  to their infants through breast milk.. The longer a child is breastfed by an HIV-positive mother the higher the risk of HIV infection. Breastfeeding for 6 months has about one third of the risk of breastfeeding for 2 years.

However, exception applies, if you cannot afford the substitutes of breast milk. It’s best to breastfeed. Know that: without preventive interventions, approximately one-third of infants born to HIV-positive mothers contract HIV through mother-to-child transmission, becoming infected during their mothers’ pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.

School Breakfast—Go for Gold”

Credit:Cuppycakefiend from flickr

Today marks the end of National School Breakfast Week ( March 5-March 9 2012).

At the beginning of the week, on March 5th, the agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack stated “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it helps keep kids alert and focused on learning. Thanks to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, we will be able to connect more eligible children with our school food programs and greatly improve the quality of meals served in schools.” Eating breakfast featuring processed, full of fat and sodium can be detrimental to children’s health and may lead to the risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease later in life. Please check the list on the Five worst school breakfast.

To encourage the practice of healthy breakfast among children in schools, school breakfast program and campaign were implemented. School Breakfast – Go for Gold” was created by the non-profit School Nutrition Association with support from General Mills Foodservice.Go for Gold also aligns with USDA’s Healthier US School Challenge and the First Lady’s Let’s Move Goals.

However, school breakfast has come to be thought of in many places as a program for low-income children since majority of the children who take part in it received their meals at a reduce price or without paying anything. Well, in fact, studies have proven that breakfast is important for all children. Thus, regardless of their economic status, all children should participate in School Breakfast program. Having a healthy breakfast will not only be positive to the body but also to the children’s success at school. According to the center for disease control and prevention, eating a healthy breakfast is associated with improved cognitive function (especially memory), reduced absenteeism and improved mood.

However, despite the campaign and efforts to make school breakfast healthier, Physician Committee for Responsible Medicine nutrition experts reported that unhealthy breakfast items continue to be served in many districts in the country.

Please take a look at this  video on Cohen congressman’s  talk on national school breakfast week