Friday, May 10, 2013

Sunday Suppers - Philly

Over the weekend I had the opportunity  to hold a health fair at Sunday Suppers in Philly.  With a couple other volunteers from the Student Pediatric Medical Association and the Emergency Medicine Club we set up fun, interactive and educational booths to learn about very important medical issues. These included blood pressure education and screening, diabetes information, BMI calculation, exercise education, and the best nutrition.

Sunday suppers works to end the hunger epidemic in Philly. They hold weekly healthy suppers for families in the Philly area. Along with a nutritious meal they provide education, resources and recipes for families. Their goal is to increase access to health foods  to communities that might not have the resources to cook their own healthy meals They believe in a family style meal, where cellphones are not allowed at the table and families are encouraged to sit and share with each other.

I helped run the nutrition station. Here we designed "health plates" based on Choose My Plate created through the US Department of Agriculture. In this activity we gave examples of how a healthy plate should look. We drew out with colorful markers portion sizes and gave them creative examples to put into each section.

Along with our "healthy plates" exercise we also had an interactive "whats in your drink?" game. It's kind of like pin the tail on the donkey but with popular drinks and sugar amounts. People learn about recommended additive sugar quantities as well as how much sugar is in their favorite drinks. We had examples of sugar amounts in bags that people can hold. Its surprising to see what 64 grams of sugar look like in raw form.

The American Heart Association suggest that women consume no more than 24 grams/day of additional sugar, men no more than 37 grams/day, and for children only 12 grams/ day of additional sugar.  Sugar is in many things we eat, fruits, milk, grains, this sugar gives us the energy we need for the day. With the addition of sodas, candy and large portions, Americans get more than the normal intake of sugar, this is called additional sugar. Its this sugar that is increasing the cases of type two diabetes across America in younger adults and even children.

It was surprising to many that their favorite drinks (Gatorade - 36 grams, Coke - 64 grams) had more sugar than recommended additional per day. It gives me great satisfactions to offer free educational information to the public and know that maybe the next time someone I taught reaches for a coke they think twice about their decisions. I always have fun teaching and interacting with the public. I hope to volunteer again soon.

1 comment:

  1. Great job!! This is the type of education children need to grow into healthy indiiduals