When was the last time you ate something without thinking about the implications it would have on your body?
The truth is, most of us don’t think about our eating habits as much as we should. Today the average American consumes approximately three pounds of sugar per week. To put that in perspective, prior to 1950, Americans consumed about 15 pounds of sugar per year. That is an incredible increase which has led to this generation being the first that will have a shorter lifespan than the previous one.
Sugar-packed products aren’t as obvious as soda or candy anymore, which makes it even more crucial that we are aware of what we’re consuming. In fact, half of our sugar comes from hidden sources including barbecue sauce, tomato sauce, and hamburger buns. There are 41 million Americans living with pre-diabetes and more than half of U.S. adults and one-third of children are obese or overweight. These statistics are scary, but the good news is that organizations like the New York City based nonprofit, FoodFight are here to help us become aware of and rethink our eating habits.
After years spent in the field of education, FoodFight founders Deb and Carolyn realized their calling went beyond lessons in core subjects. They knew that their classrooms could benefit from an integrated health focus, thus Foodfight was born with the goal of revolutionizing the way we all think about our food.
“Almost all of our students spoke of serious cases of obesity, diabetes and other diet related diseases in their families,” Deb and Carolyn say. “Through our students’ experience, a story emerged of a society that is overfed yet undernourished, one in which individuals struggle with a food and health crisis, but lack the awareness and knowledge necessary to make healthier choices.”
FoodFight operates under the belief that education has the power to combat our country’s health crisis and is helping schools, educators and students everywhere take charge of their own health.
The creative curriculum goes beyond your average health class. With a background in education, Deb and Carolyn understand how to tailor a curriculum to a teacher’s needs. They have carefully designed programs that provide teachers, principals, parents and students with all the information they need to empower themselves and others to make healthier lifestyle choices.
FoodFight’s programs such as the Teacher Wellness Program, FoodFight in the Classroom and EAT Conference, dive into the politics surrounding food, consumership, and media literacy, while arming educators and children with the knowledge to take control of their health and eating habits.
Today, FoodFight is in six cities and 50 schools across the US. Their work educating 2400+ teachers about healthy lifestyles has impacted the well being of 2500 children (and their families). Columbia University reports that 90 percent of teachers and students in FoodFight’s programs agreed that FoodFight has changed their eating and purchasing habits.