Brasilmagic\’s Weblog

Venting to the World

Can Obama as president inspire African Americans to eat healthier?

We all know that in the United States, the poorest population is oftentimes the most overweight. In other countries, especially developing countries, a low weight can mean not enough food, while a robust and rotund phsysique may be a sign of wealth-and lots of food on the table-usually served by a maid 🙂

In America the low income population eats unhealthfully because of 2 reasons: unhealthful food is plentiful and cheap, and they do not have the knowledge of nutrition and science that allows them to make good choices. There is a fast food joint in every corner in America, and overworked Americans with low incomes can easily buy a complete meal at their local Mickey D’s, KFC or Popeyes. Even though these places tried to introduce a few healthier items in their menu, the staple offering is usually fried and riddled with saturated fats and transfat. Added to that, Americans consume a large amount of sugar. Sugary drinks are sold everywhere, and if you read the labels, they usually carry a whopping 30 grams of sugar per bottle.  Ketchup, High Fructose Corn Syrup in cereals and baked goods, sauces and baked beans are all high in refined sugar.

Throw in that mix the fact that the urban sprawl has made America impossible to walk and people spend lots of time in their cars and in front of their computers, the fact that excess weight is a serious problem in this country is not a surprise.

Moreso amongst the African American population, which has historically had fewer chances at education and prosperity, the obesitynumbers are alarming.

Barack Obama and Michele, by being fit, can inspire African Americans to exercise more and choose healthier food options. The picture of Obama jogging was wonderful to see. Despite his little bad habit of smoking, Obama is slim and fit.

Barack and Michelle, if you ever come across my blog (:)), I think you should spread the idea of eating fruits, vegetables and grains throughout the country. Forget the junk food lobby. Maybe you can start a program to introduce healthy lunches and snacks in the school system (one of my battles). And most importantly, maybe you can inspire your fellow African Americans to start walking and eating less processed foods. It saddens me to see the weight amongst them, as it has  always saddened me to see the obesity in many parts of America. When I see a young obese woman or man, I think of all the opportunities this kid is losing  in terms of enjoying life, participating in sports and having a romantic life.

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December 12, 2008 - Posted by | Health

1 Comment »

  1. Love this post. I am also eager to change the foods (cafeteria AND vending machine options) in the schools.

    As far as change goes, I am starting with myself, by going without refined sugar. What I have found is that it is REALLY HARD to do. Not because of any lack of willpower. But like you said, everywhere you turn there are fast food signs. Every grocery store (including the health food stores!) has junk food lining the check-out aisle. It is harder to find healthier food during the day than it is to find junk food. That needs to change, and I agree that the to-be President Obama should help spread the idea of health food… We’ll see what happens!

    Comment by my year without | December 14, 2008 | Reply


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