You can get garden variety health advice from the daily newspaper, the "health" section of most book stores, and of course thousands of web sites. I'm hoping to present thought provoking and maybe change provoking thoughts about individual and community health. This blog is not just what to do about health, but how to think about it. I'm looking forward to an exchange of ideas with readers. July, 2010


Friday, August 19, 2011

Health Promotion at the State Fair

Last year at this time, I posted a blog about the Kentucky State Fair food innovation, the Krispy Kreme burger.  That burger got a lot of media attention in the local area, even though the concept was introduced a number of years ago in other places.  Nevertheless, the attitude in the public seemed to be that "foods" like this are just part of the charm of the State Fair.  The Health Promoters who raise concerns are just lifestyle Scrooges, who sap the joy out of life.  If you are reading this you will have no trouble spinning this a different way, to defend the value of healthier dietary choices.

This year the next big thing with Fair fare is deep fried Kool Aid.  I have no idea how one deep fries Kool Aid, but I'm betting it will get a lot of curiosity by consumers and the media.  I don't know the ingredients exactly, but web sources claim it consists mostly of Kool Aid, flour and water, and then of course oil absorbed during frying.  This is probably not the worst thing someone could eat.  Look at this link for other
examples of foods that race to the bottom of healthy food choices.See Outrageous Foods

To some extent this is an old story.  I've blogged about it a number of times, and there are lots of newspaper, magazine and TV stories about this, some lamenting, some celebrating.  However, I want to build a bridge to more generic health promotion ideas.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has a funding program for community health promotion programs, created as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  This program is called Community Transformation grants, and the concept is that a lot of what passes for health promotion is very superficial.  It provides some information and encouragement for lifestyle change but doesn't really have a basic impact on society and culture as a whole.  The scientific evidence base is not yet complete to really be transformative in the way our efforts influence society.  However, we will know we have arrived when outrageous foods  receive a widespread response of embarrassment or bewilderment, as though they were pornographic.  In society today, health promoters have degrees of defensiveness that makes them apologetic rather than proud of the service they provide.  To be transformative, we need to be asking not just "How do we get a fair goer to eat healthier," but "How do we change communities so that the junkiest of junk foods are no longer part of a viable business plan?"

1 comment:

crgilvr said...

It seems to me that deep fried Kool-Aid should not be possible, assuming that gravity is actually a law.