Eating Healthy!

Oct 02, 2015
Tagged with: Eating Healthy!

By now, everyone should be aware of the importance of healthy eating. Where your body is concerned, you get out what you put in. A healthy diet improves every area of your life – from physical health to appearance to mental health and mood. This applies across the board, but is particularly relevant for those of us who are less able. People with a disability or other chronic health problems could benefit enormously from the extra support provided by healthy nourishment. Unfortunately, our society does not make it easy for such people to maintain a healthy diet. Various constraints mean that those who need it most find themselves without a good, balanced diet, and suffer as a consequence. Were healthy eating made more accessible, and were more education regarding it provided within the disabled community, it is likely that the quality of life for many people would improve enormously.

Logistical Issues

One of the major issues facing disabled and otherwise disadvantaged communities when it comes to eating is that of logistics. Healthy eating in our society requires a good deal more effort than simply popping a pre-prepared meal in the microwave or ordering takeout. However willing someone may be to prepare healthy meals, it is a lot harder if you have mobility issues. Something as simple as driving to a store is impossible for many less able people, let alone reaching up to find fresh ingredients on high shelves. Carrying shopping bags may also be a major issue. People who are wheelchair users, or who may be unsteady on their feet and wary of being knocked may also prefer to avoid crowded fresh fruit and vegetable markets for obvious reasons. Growing your own food – an increasingly popular option for many – is a difficult venture. Unfortunately, the most logistically feasible foods within our society tend to be the unhealthiest ones – pre-prepared meals packed with preservatives, junk food, and fattening takeaway. It is perhaps not surprising that those with disabilities are at substantially higher risk of developing obesity than their peers.

Lack Of Knowledge

If you have a caregiver, it is sometimes hard to gain access to the kind of practical cookery education which is open to others. Nutritional education is important not only because it can teach people how to cook and eat healthily, but because it is an empowering tool which helps people to learn about their bodies and take a modicum of control over their physical health. It has been found that nutritional education works well on recovering addicts, not only because it makes them healthier, but because it boosts confidence and a sense of control over one’s body. These benefits would be equally advantageous for people with disabilities. Unfortunately, nutritional education may be hard to come by. Even if one can get to a class, they are often not designed with disabled people in mind. Many culinary skills – knife craft, for example – must be adapted in the case of disability. More nutritional education courses aimed at people with disabilities would help in addressing nutrition issues.

Lack Of Opportunity

Staff within care homes and monitored residential complexes do an incredible job. However, with so much else to think about, precise vitamin and mineral balances within meals is often not a top priority. Furthermore, when many meals are being prepared at once, it is hard to find both the time and the funds to make each one as fresh and healthy as possible. Unfortunately, this means that individuals within catered care homes may miss out when it comes to a healthy diet. The best way to combat this would be to make sure that there is plenty of funding for healthy meals, and that staff are both numerous and well-equipped enough to ensure that their charges are getting the healthiest diets possible. Something as simple as providing fruit baskets for residents could make a world of difference!





Author: Meighan Sembrano