Editors Note: I've always been amazed at the food available for young track and field athletes at national championships. Karen noticed the same and wrote this great article. Find out more about her at www.superhealthychildren.com
Playing baseball, sports, and exercising are healthy activities, so why aren’t there equally healthy options available for the spectators at sports games?
I recently attended a professional baseball game at a large stadium. I hadn’t been to a game for many years and was horrified to see fast food offered at every stand. French fries, meat balls, pizza, cracker jacks, cotton candy, pretzels, soft drinks, beer, hamburgers, hot dogs and other fast foods were everywhere.
Strike One — French Fries: The New Cancer Sticks?
When I grew up in the 1950’s and 60’s I remember purchasing french fries which came in a small white pocket. Neither my friends nor myself made a whole meal of french fries. This day at the baseball game I saw people eating huge amounts of french fries served on a large plate.
A very important Swedish nutritional study, completed at the University of Stockholm, revealed when starches form a golden-brown crust, such as in french fries, after being heated at high temperatures, they undergo a chemical reaction forming a carcinogenic plastic known as acrylamide.
Strike Two — Where’s The Beef Fruit?
Wikipedia states, “Advertising campaigns for fast food restaurants have changed in their intent over time. Many modern campaigns stress the availability of healthy options after years of criticism for the harmful effects of a fast food diet. The rise in awareness of healthy eating and obesity has negatively impacted the business of these establishments, and their marketing campaigns have attempted to rectify this.” From what I was viewing while walking around the stadium, this did not seem to be a reality. There was no mention of any nutrient dense fruits or vegetables anywhere. The obesity rate in that one venue was alarmingly high.
Animal-based and processed and refined foods served at the stands were advertised numerous times on the large centrally located stadium screen. It was easy to see that the meat and dairy council as well as processed food distributors have a large monopoly over what gets sold at athletic games. You would want to think that good forms of exercise should coincide with the healthy foods that create healthy bodies. Fruit is known to enhance athletic capability and performance but it was nowhere to be seen.
Strike Three — Think of Target The Children!
Unfortunately for the children of today, most fast food chains target advertising at children and teenagers. This is where they make a large percentage of their money.
I still recall the many years of beef jerky, donut holes, and potato chips provided at my children’s weekly soccer and baseball games. There were the occasional orange slices but these weren’t viewed as the fun snacks. One time I brought a big bowl of fresh organic strawberries for the end of game snack and the children devoured them, but it didn’t lead to other parents bringing the same kind of healthful snack when it was their turn to bring something.
As the benefits of a raw food lifestyle become more widely recognized, the hope is that the general public will understand fruits and vegetables are the foods that provide energy, stamina and long term health.
What are your favourite raw fruit and vegetable snacks that fuel and re-energize your body and exercise? Leave us a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!