Community members at over 50 locations across North America attended a local Health Awareness Lecture on the topic of Nutritional Considerations for Vegetarians. The lecture was organized by BAPS Charities in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative, “Let’s Move”.
Facing the current reality that one in three kids is overweight and is part of the first generation expected to be outlived by their parents, Mrs. Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ initiative, now in its second year, is diligently working to end childhood obesity. Attempting to tackle the problem head on, the BAPS Charities Health Awareness Lecture focused on educating parents on the healthy vegetarian changes they could make in children’s lives.
Both the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada have stated that at all stages of life, a properly planned vegetarian diet is “healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provides health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.” However, of the many millions of Americans who follow a vegetarian-based diet, certain populations still tend to have some level of nutritional deficiency due to improper dietary planning.
BAPS Charities invited dieticians to offer healthy alternatives for families practicing vegetarianism. “Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins and nutrition, but more importantly, they are easy on the human digestive tract,” said Dr. Neha Shah, a dietician in Washington, D.C. “The human intestine is longer than that of a carnivore and digesting meat or poultry prevents the intestine from functioning at its optimal level.” BAPS Charities structured the seminars around educating attendees on preventative medicine, eating healthy to avoid future diseases, and illnesses.
In addition to nutrition, working with the American Cancer Society, BAPS Charities stressed the importance for both men and women over the age of 50 to begin regular colon screenings for early detection of issues and even earlier for those who have a family history of colorectal cancer.