ELDRED, NY — If we truly are what we eat, Americans should be the sweetest people on earth. That’s because, in its many forms and under its many names, each person consumes on average …
ELDRED, NY — If we truly are what we eat, Americans should be the sweetest people on earth. That’s because, in its many forms and under its many names, each person consumes on average about 150 pounds of sugar each year, up from an annual consumption of merely two pounds 200 years ago. That’s five times more than the recommended intake for a man and eight times more for a woman, according to the American Heart Association. More sensible eating habits will help stem the near-epidemic increase in pre-diabetes in our nation.
This was just one bit of information gleaned at the Community Health Fair held on August 24 at the Eldred Junior-Senior High School. The event was the result of a collaborative effort of the Lions Clubs of the towns of Highland and Lumberland, Barryville Chamber of Commerce, Can’t Hurt Steel Community Foundation and Sullivan 180. Sullivan County is the second-most unhealthy county in New York, and these organizations want to change that.
Several corporate and individual sponsors also contributed to the success of the event. Raffle baskets featuring healthy-living items were available as well.
There were 27 exhibitors whose areas of expertise ranged from hiking to chiropractic, meditation to nutrition, hospital organizations to massage.
In one of several presentations, Sandi Rowland, executive director of Sullivan 180 explained its mission as a new non-profit organization that was created to turn around the health and wellness of Sullivan County.
Among many other initiatives, the organization encourages the formation of Sullivan Club 180 healthy-living groups, through which friends, neighbors and colleagues can incorporate healthy living into daily routines such as forming walking groups, getting together to share healthy meals and recipes, or starting yoga classes. These can be already-existing groups such as service clubs or church congregations, or newly-formed neighborhood gaggles. Throughout the county there are currently 10 such clubs, including one for children ages 5 to 12, though none currently exist in the lower part of the county.
Symposiums addressing health topics are held throughout the county, also sponsored by Sullivan 180. The next scheduled event, on brain health, is October 22 at 6 p.m. at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.
Also available at the fair were blood pressure tests, yoga and Pilates classes, dental hygiene tips, opportunities to talk with social agencies, chair massages, discussions with physical therapists, a representative from trailkeepers.org, the state police and health insurance representatives, among several others.
Cathy Daboul, a member of the Barryville Chamber and a volunteer for a number of area organizations, coordinated the fair’s organization. At its conclusion, Daboul said that the hope is that this is the first annual event of its kind.