Healthy Eating in Our World

welcome back everybody knows that eating bad foods leads to health problems yet somehow people in our communities still often eat the wrong things here to help us understand why that happens is majora Carter who's president of the majora Carter group and economic consulting firm we're also joined by Andre Farnell who is a health and wellness expert and dr. Aleta maybank who is assistant commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene thank you all for being here dr. Mittman I'm gonna start with you first question why does this happen I mean if everybody knows that eating too much fried chicken drinking too much of the wrong things eating sugary foods if we know that this stuff is bad for us why do we do it a lot of reasons a lot of multiple reasons so one we have to look at what people have access to in their communities right so we have to look at do they have access to fruits and vegetables and we do know and there's plenty of evidence and a lot of us on this panel already know that some of our communities and our communities in particular the African American community we have a lack of access especially in the urban underserved low-income communities so that's one reason to also in these communities lack of access of fruits and vegetables but an increase access and really an overabundance of unhealthy junk food so it makes it harder to choose the healthier choice if the healthier choice isn't there and you have all these unhealthy foods I think also we have to talk about the impact of marketing our communities and we have the evidence behind this or the data behind this with Nielsen we know our children are especially targeted more so than white children in this country as in regards to marketing and commercials and I think lastly we have to talk about kind of social norms and what we're used to you know where culture absolutely our culture right and so that's the in our culture strongly influenced our social norm so you know my family's from the Caribbean we had what do you call it I just had it this weekend patties and and sorrel and all these drinks with all these sugary sugary substances and fatty foods and that's what we're used to we like that that's the social norm it's a social norm to go to somebody's house and offer them a sugary drink so those are there are multiple factors but those would be let's talk about some of those factors in majority when we talk about the environmental factors sort of the idea that in people's neighborhoods they don't have access to fresh fruit and vegetables you can go in some neighborhoods Kongo Detroit Philadelphia where I live and you'll see four or five miles of space between a person and a fresh vegetable what do you know I mean well you first acknowledge that it's happening and I consider what I think of the environment it is large so it does include acts lack of active access to healthy fruits and vegetables as well and so when you're in a community where it is really difficult to find that stuff but it's real easy to find the fast food joints you know and that's what you eat and that's what you know because dollar it is it can also be cheaper because of the food policies you know within this country where junk food is actually cheaper than healthy produce it is what people eat I personally I live in the South Bronx but most of my produce I get on the subway and I go downtown because it's cheaper and better quality and then I bring it back up in my little canvas bags you know up on the subway you know if people aren't feeling as though they deserve that are they going to go out of their way you know to to experience that for themselves I'm glad you mentioned the deserving part in it because there's a psychological dimension there's a cultural dimension to this Andre you work with people every day who come to you to be healthier to be more well how much of the choice to eat bad food is about what's in here I would say to 90% of what you choose to put into your body has to do with how good do you feel about yourself that would make you scream and think about how good the food is and the quality of the food is that you put into your body so if I feel bad about myself it's easy for me to pick up a bag of pork rinds then to eat a bag of oranges that we don't have as much really nowaday you know we talk a lot about the obesity epidemic it's everywhere in the news most people you talk to know about the obesity epidemic but I think there's a strong relationship between the two what role does culture play in this because I come from a house and a tradition where you eat fried chicken you know you eat you know all kinds of stuff that's dipped in butter and lard and that's fry me just a tradition of eating bad stuff right some of this is our culture how can we hold on to our culture but still develop good eating there's different ways that you can prepare it once again that takes a level of awareness that you got to have there okay I want fried chicken so instead of choosing all right let's get the lard and let's do it the old-fashioned way say no I'm not gonna do it the old-fashioned way I'm gonna use coconut oil or a different type of oil to fry this chicken and it's gonna be a lot lighter maybe I'll bake it instead so you can get the same taste and flavors and I think that's what a lot of people think is that once you go healthy you go flavorless I like being healthy but not enough to lose my fried chicken I think we have to lose our fried chicken I think we have to figure out different ways to create our fried chicken and we can also do things like adding salads but the reality is is that our communities and this is what we know and this is really why the reason for the portion control so then there's a 200 and 300 calories that we consume more than we did 20 to 30 years ago half of them are sugary drinks and people aren't really familiar with when they drink sugary drinks they don't really get full we need some concrete examples here if I'm not supposed to drink the 16 ounce sugary drink what am I supposed to do I'm gonna take a different stance so I think that the problem is the sugary drinks I think that the problem is the personal responsibility for drinking sugary drinks New Yorkers crack down on the size of beverages that people can consume and at first I said I don't need the government telling me how big my big gulp is supposed to be but what's the government doing this time with the government this time you know we're doing we're limiting the 16-ounce are limiting the size that food service establishments can offer to 16 ounces and if it is a self-serve place they cannot give cups that are greater than 16 ounces and that's for sugary drinks there are certain exemptions such as fruit juices if there are 70% more fruit juice and also things with dairy product what do we do about that entrepreneurs who are making their businesses off of black food how can we get them to respond not just our cultural needs what I hope needs well I think that takes education on several levels right it takes education from our communities right to know that they have the power to actually create a certain level of demand but I think we have to have a certain amount of courage as leaders in our community and it is hard to do that deaf clearly but but the bottom line is when you do I mean because the the the results of it and the goals you know what are we gonna have we're gonna have you know you know black and brown people actually being healthier than they've been in a really long time being able to live longer and do great things that I think in many cases have absolutely held us down so whether it's you know develop in different ways of online grocery stores I'm you know community markets you know farmers markets I'm developing new entrepreneurs who are trying to build a healthy way I think these are all opportunities that we have not been giving ourselves reason to believe that we deserve and can do we'll be right back emotional consideration provided by


  1. Yall really need a wake up call I tell you what you do it might work it might not you get some jail bird the education college degrees in jail psychology, sociology you can get out the kinks.  ask them how to fix these things what's better than a slave of knowledge

  2. This is not going to gain no ones attention but the people that are all ready eating good, the others are going to change channel. now if yall actually think of how this would work is paying a famous rapper to say it…ohhh…… some the people that don't eat right can actually want to do it………………………….hello………..

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