Word on the Street

The people know what the people want.

In order to better understand health and nutrition issues in the NHNP area, I went to the street to see what residents had to say.

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The Scary Truth Behind Obesity

Source: naturalhealth365.com

Source: naturalhealth365.com

We love it, we need it, but we apparently don’t know how to properly eat it. Americans have a complex, sometimes dangerous, relationship with food. The hot button issue of health and nutrition is receiving more and more attention as obesity in the United States continues to grow at an alarming rate, but the question of how to fix this issue still remains.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), an alarming 33.1 percent of people are overweight and 35.7 percent are obese nationally. To see how obesity in America has been on the rise, The Journal of the American Medical Association traced the trends in obesity. In 1962, 46 percent of Americans were considered overweight, obese, or extremely obese. Compare that to 2010’s rate of 75 percent and we can see the dramatic and alarming rise in obesity.

Here in Pennsylvania, we are ranked as the 20th fattest state in the country, as stated in a study in “F As In Fat: How Obesity Threatens Our Future”. According to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report, if there is no nutritional change in the American diet, Pennsylvania could be facing a 57 percent obesity rate by 2030.

Source: hartford.edu

Source: hartford.edu

The issue of obesity raises even more concern in the Neighborhood Health and Nutrition Project (NHNP) boundaries, which is a predominantly African-American area. According to the NIDDK, 76.7 percent of African-Americans nationally are considered overweight or obese.

The danger? Obesity is linked to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and multiple other health problems.

So how do we fix this problem?

According to the Mayo Clinic, it comes down to an understanding of the food groups and including a variety of healthy foods in your diet. That all sounds good, but what about those of us who don’t want to sacrifice our favorite foods and don’t have the cash flow for the expensive, organic foods?

Source: MyPyramid.gov

Source: MyPyramid.gov

Well, the guys over at Greatist say eating healthy doesn’t have to break the bank. And if it’s taste you’re worried about, head over to Roost to get healthy recipes for some of your favorites (even cheesecake). If you’re looking for healthy alternatives to your favorite foods, Sodium Girl might have just what you’re looking for.

Source: endangeredfeces.org

Source: endangeredfeces.org

Taking the journey towards healthier eating may not be as terrifying as we all think. So put down the burger and pick up some kale as we work to make America a healthier place.

Urban Food

If you ever find yourself wandering around the Germantown neighborhood, you definitely won’t find a lack of places to grab a bite. You may, however, struggle to find something on the healthy side. Pizza shops, Chinese take-out, and fried chicken chains litter the streets, but finding a place that can offer you a well balanced meal is like finding a diamond in the rough.

Ed's Pizza House on Ogontz Ave.

Ed’s Pizza House on Ogontz Ave.

You can find Ed’s Pizza House on Ogontz Ave. smacked next to a Wing Wong Chinese Restaurant and a fried chicken shack. There is a constant flow of traffic to these restaurants, showing fast-food and take-out are popular choices for the residents of Germantown.

Lunch Truck on Olney Ave.

Lunch Truck on Olney Ave.

A popular lunch option for Philly residents is the infamous food truck. This lunch truck, stationed near La Salle University on Olney Ave., epitomizes everything the lunch truck should be. It’s cheap, it’s quick, and it’s greasy. What more could a person want?

Economic Food Market at 1749 Roselyn Street

Economic Food Market at 1749 Roselyn Street

With the lack of chain grocery stores in the area, plenty of small, independent grocery stores pop up everywhere. The Economic Food Market on Roselyn Street carries all the essential groceries neighbors need so they don’t have to travel too far to get their eggs and milk.

Customers at The Fresh Grocer at the Shoppes at La Salle

Customers at The Fresh Grocer at the Shoppes at La Salle

The Fresh Grocer offers its patrons a wide selection of fresh produce while still offering quick and easy food. Here, customers help themselves to salads and platters made by The Fresh Grocer staff.

*All photos taken with Android.