Community nutrition plays a huge role in the development of a society’s nutritional status. Teaching small communities the benefits of eating healthy is the first step toward improving our countries health and well-being. It sounds very simple, almost redundant, but it can be done. We have all learned that eating our vegetables and staying active will keep us healthy; some more than others. But there are things like double cheeseburgers that are cheaper than tomatoes, and candy bars that are cheaper than apples. People need to wake up and understand that there is a problem with the food system and eating habits in our country.
There are programs in this country to improve societies nutrition. Government agencies such as the FDA and USDA ensure that the food we eat is safe, and readily available to the public. Yet salmonella outbreaks are increasing every year, and there are 48 million Americans that live in food insecure households. There are programs designed to supply families with quality food in times of need, such as food banks. And there are services designed to teach families correct eating habits, and healthy cooking techniques. Schools are beginning to take a step further in nutrition education by teaching kids how to grow vegetables and cook healthy food. Studies have shown that kids who eat an unhealthy diet have poorer grades in school than kids who eat a balanced diet.
New scientific studies are coming out all the time proving that processed meats can lead to cancer, and fruits and vegetables can reduce cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. As these studies are becoming public, people are beginning to realize the benefits of nutrition, and are making healthy food choices.
Teaching parents and children the benefits of nutrition can lead to great things for society. There will be less health problems (diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.), which will lead to money saved from less doctor visits. Jobs can be created (local farmers, dietitians, teachers) to improve a community’s economy, and increase local revenue. Focusing on community nutrition will lead to a healthier, wealthier and smarter country.