Notes to broadcasters
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With increasing trade from northern to southern countries, people in our communities have access to more processed, packaged, and ‘fast’ foods. These foods are convenient and quick to prepare, and some people feel that eating these foods gives them status. But in fact, many of these foods are so unhealthy that we call them ‘junk’ foods. As people eat more junk foods (processed and fast foods such as soda pop, sweets, potato chips, pizza, frozen dinners) they tend to eat less traditional or local foods, and they are more likely to become overweight and susceptible to diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Unfortunately, the traditional foods that can provide nutritious diets are being abandoned in favour of these processed foods. Traditional foods (also known as indigenous or local foods) add a variety of important nutrients to the diet. From a farmer’s point of view, they are practical because they are often well adapted to the local soils and climate. Also, it’s important to realize that by eating local foods we encourage and support farmers in our own communities.
You can contribute to the health of your community by producing broadcasts that discourage people from eating too much processed foods full of fat and sugar. Through your programming, help people to understand that local foods – a variety of vegetables, grains, fruits, legumes, meat, fish, eggs, and so on – are not poor people’s food, but a good and cheap source of essential nutrients. Traditional foods are rich!
More and more processed foods are being sold in the shops these days. They’re convenient and quick to prepare, but are they good for us? Today we have a short drama that addresses this question. It’s called “Winning the Race With Traditional Foods” and shows how a young athlete learns which foods really give him strength and energy.
School boy, competitive runner
) Michael, you’d better hurry or you’ll be late for the track and field competition. (Short silence
SOUND OF MICHAEL ENTERING THE ROOM.
Oh, there you are. Are you okay? You don’t look very well.
I’m nervous about the race. Maybe I shouldn’t even go.
Why not? Michael, you’ve spent months training for this race and your team needs you. Why would you want to drop out now?
I’m afraid I can’t win against the runners from the city school and I don’t want to let our team down.
Well you’re sure to let them down if you don’t show up. And you’re a very strong runner. What are you worried about anyway?
Those city boys seem so big and strong.
So are you Michael. And your team. I think you’re just nervous, but I know you’ll do well. Go on now before you miss your bus.
BRING UP SOUND OF CHILDREN CHEERING.
Go, Michael, go!!! Yeah! Yeah Michael!! Way to go!
SOUNDS OF CHEERING CONTINUES (3 seconds). FADE AND HOLD UNDER DIALOGUE.
) Great race, Michael! I knew you could make first place! And Sam made second place in the high jump. I think our team has a good chance of winning the overall competition. Good work son.
Thanks coach. Isn’t it amazing that we’re ahead of the city school?
We have a talented team. Why are you so surprised?
I didn’t think we could win against their team. The city kids all look so big and they eat all those fast foods. I thought those fancy fast foods and soft drinks they eat would give them more energy than us.
You’re wrong there son. A lot of times those fast foods are just junk food. But let’s talk more about diets after the next practice.
BRING UP BACKGROUND SOUND.
FADE IN SOUND OF SOMEONE RUNNING. BRING UP COACH’S WHISTLE.
(calling to runner
) Good practice run Michael. Your time for the 500-metre run is getting faster.
) That’s great coach, but I’d like to improve my time even more. Do you think I can do it?
Sure you can. You’re a strong, healthy boy. Your mother must feed you well. What kinds of foods do you eat at home?
We eat a lot of maize meal served with a vegetable relish. We eat some kind of meat or eggs from the hens almost every day. For snacks I eat roasted groundnuts and yams, cooked breadfruit and mangoes. That’s the kind of food my mother serves.
Those are exactly the kinds of foods that give you the protein, energy, vitamins and minerals that you need. That’s probably why you’re such a good runner.
Yes. You know the truth is that many of the fast foods and packaged foods – soda pop, chips, pizza – are not necessarily good for you. They’re loaded with fat and sugar.
And what’s wrong with that?
When people eat too much fat and sugar they gain a lot of weight. Too much extra weight is not healthy. And when people are overweight they’re more likely to get diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
Thanks coach. I guess if I want to be a good runner I should keep eating those healthy foods – not fast foods.
That’s right! If you want to keep winning, keep eating healthy foods.
FADE IN MUSIC AND HOLD UNDER DIALOGUE.
You’ve been listening to “Winning the Race with Traditional Foods.”Insert name of performerwas the coach.Performer’s nameplayed Michael andinsert performer’s namewas his mother. They were reminding us that fast foods may be tasty, but they are not always healthy. If you want to grow strong and be a good athlete, eat a variety of healthy foods every day. And for a healthy snack – forget the chips and soda pop! Treat yourself to roasted yam, a banana or a handful of groundnuts. Healthy foods taste good too.
Contributed by Isaac Rashid, Hamilton, Canada.
Reviewed by Hélène Delisle, Department of Nutrition, University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
“Are local foods too expensive for healthy diet: Urban obesity and rural poverty in Jamaica, two sides of the same coin?” by Chelston W.D. Braithwaite and Byron Noble, Cajanus, Volume 34, No. 2, 2001. Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute, PO Box 140, Kingston 7, Jamaica.
“Fighting junk food in school,” InterWorld Radio, June 28, 2001.