The children are our future. Cliché right? But the children are our future. For all the work we put in to this world, into this bigger than life canvas that we call reality, we do it for those that will follow. Often in history of old methods of lifestyle would come solely from community and close family connections. People ate what was around them and that was good enough, but as our diets changed so did the forces that influenced that change. Marketing by large corporations promotes the consumption of excess sugar, and in a way that puts desires for these sugar filled products in the minds of the children. Obesity is a constant concern for kids with so much out of their own control. Kids are influenced by a world they don’t yet understand and this can set up destructive habits. But not if the Cardiology department at Northshore has anything to say about it.
The people I work with are primarily concerned with the youth and their health, specifically the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages (SSB’s) and their presence in schools. They see this as one of the largest causes of excess sugar consumption and one of the easiest to eliminate. Working off of the program “Rethink Your Drink” Evanston Illinois has had great success in education about and reduced consumption of SSB’s. Their work has gone from a few schools to the whole Evanston area. They survey students, observe patterns, and use this information to directly help those that provided it.
My work is in getting things organized for these professionals. They all have work to do in the schools or at the hospital. For me that means I look at the data they have collected and I sort it in a meaningful way. By making spreadsheets and charts I help those I work with see correlations between schools and amount of SSB consumption. This helps us see correlations between social privilege based on schools. It may not be glamourous work, but it is important. It allows for the work to continue without the hassle of organizing data for hours. I have the ability so I can make it a job well done in less time. I also am spending time looking at fitness test results in the different schools to see what kind of significance those may hold.
Besides the work I have also learned a lot about my own health though this and it has really given me insight into what it means to live healthy. Through the food I buy and the activities I do on my free time I have begun to see in myself what a sugar free world can be like. This job is inspiring to me, and while it is not what I expected I couldn’t be happier with it. I am excited to bring this information I have worked with back to Antioch and to my future jobs. In my view it is worth it to invest in the future, and that is going to be the children.