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Journalism at MSJC
Talon Archives

March is Nutrition Awareness Month

How Important is Our Nutrition?
Lisa Fotios
“Strawberries and Measuring Tape”

The month of March is Nutrition Awareness Month, a national month created by the “Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.”  However, is nutrition that big of a deal?  How much does it impact our well-being outside of just being statistics on the side of a box or bag? As someone who only knows about nutrition from what I learned in health classes, I asked close individuals for their perspective on the impact of gaining good nutrition.  Is nutrition so important to people that it deserves its month as a talking point?  There’s only one way to find out: research and survey.  

My stance on the importance of nutrition is that being concerned about what you’re putting in your body is an essential trait to have. Still, it also isn’t as easy as it sounds due to how most products are made to entice us, from how it looks to how it is marketed.  It requires a strong will to completely reject these foods considered junk foods (a term created by the scientist Michael F. Jacobson); however, rejecting these foods in their entirety isn’t the point since that would be nearly impossible for the average person.  The point is to opt for more healthy alternatives in times like this.  

“Candy Bowl” (Pixabay on Pexels)

An article I’ve read covered the negative of not having any concern about what these products we ingest consist of, which are unhealthy chemicals making their way into foods.  The article “6 Toxins In Food That Are Actually Concerning” was written by Franziska Spritzier and was medically reviewed and passed by a licensed doctor.  It discussed some chemicals in foods that people may even commonly eat.  Artificial trans-fats were one of the six listed, which should be a major concern, as the Mayo Clinic states the troubles of trans-fats and how they aren’t a beneficial fat and can cause heart troubles such as heart disease, which is one of the biggest threats to older people as their hearts have aged.  As we age, our hearts also start to show their age by slowing down through time until they’ve stopped entirely, but this makes it all the more important to care about our hearts to make sure they will be as strong as they can be when we are older.

While on the topic of old age, I also asked my grandfather a few short questions to interview him about National Nutrition Month, and my results provided me with the opinion that National Nutrition Month is overlooked and poorly marketed as I also asked a handful of individuals afterward were unaware of March being National Nutrition Month, which could be changed with marketing it better, as how can someone be aware of something that is only discussed and mentioned briefly?  Another result I’ve gained from my interview with my grandfather is that he finds trying to maintain good nutrition a mixed bag as it is hard to focus solely on it. Still, he finds it easy sometimes to make good food choices, but this is his personal experience as he has made it a habit to constantly look at all labels on foods to make sure that they cannot harm him, as he has had issues in the past with his health in regards to his sodium intake being too large which resulted in his cautious nature now.  He also advises students to read nutrition labels on what they eat, take their vitamins, and try their best to make good health choices moving forward.

Another person I surveyed was a friend who is studying psychology, and he also provided good details regarding how nutrition ties into a person’s mental state.  The term “brain food” isn’t the joke it sounds like. Many foods can impact your brain, one of the most important organs in your body, and the heart.  A good analogy would be to think of your brain as a car and the food you eat as fuel.  There are many different quality fuels, and the higher the quality, the more efficient it will be for your vehicle.  They also stated that costs could be an obstacle regarding nutrition options, which is very true as food options that are better for your health sometimes double the price of the food you’d get at your typical grocery market.  These high prices can discourage those who cannot afford them regularly, which creates another topic for another day regarding how healthier food options are being locked by the financial class of a person and not accessible to those in impoverished situations.  He also recommends having a good support group regarding health and nutrition, as it makes it easier to remember the goals you have set before you and makes it easy to know that you will not be alone in the health journey you will be embarking on.

There is always a healthy alternative and substitute to what you may be eating. As someone who knows that I must also watch my health, I have learned what I must do moving forward regarding nutrition.  Remember that you are not alone in this journey and will never be alone. Simply try to make the best health choices you can, and if a mistake happens, try not to beat yourself up mentally about it and keep going at it until those habits break. Happy National Nutrition Month 2024!

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About the Contributor
Mark Burns
Mark Burns, Writer
Hi, my name is Mark and I am currently majoring in Journalism. This is my first year with TALON. I enjoy making content for my viewers in my free time. I hope to write useful and entertaining information for those who read my works. Have a great day!

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