Food The diets of children are far more delicate
Food is one of the biggest expenses for low income families (Sarlo, 1996). That being said most studies all conclude the same link between an individual’s performance and his/her diet, this link has strong relations to one another and typically depend on each other. Malnourishment and improper diets can affect one’s mental, physical and emotional state; ultimately altering the entire individuals behaviours as a whole. The diets of children are far more delicate than a grown adult. Young children need adequate amounts of various elements of high nutritional value to strengthen the process of their development. If this area is deprived of then it is well known to cause developmental issues in the process of their upbringing. Basic necessities, such as food are being pushed to save budget costs and limit the amount of spending when an individual is within the ranges of poverty. Individuals are compelled to purchase cheaper types foods with low nutritional value for costs sake. Whereas products with medium to high nutritional value are being exploited with production in higher cost prices. “People who cannot afford the ‘economy’ diet are assumed to be poor.”(Bernard M. S. van Praag, Spit, J., & Van de Stadt, H. ,1982). This fact is comparatively correct in terms of individuals being strongly influenced to purchase foods that lead to poorer diets, who lay within the poverty line. “Potential consequences of food insecurity include hunger, malnutrition and (either directly or indirectly) negative effects on health and quality of life.” (Campbell, 1991). I can verify that my personal experience to the feelings of malnutrition, hungry and negative effects took a heavy toll on my daily routines. I was unable to function during school or at home in comparison to when I am fully rested and fed. These negative effects especially changed my body behaviour/ physical state, emotional, and mental state- I slowly became very afflicted by numerous encounters with migraines and nausea. During this food and poverty challenge I decided to go to my local grocery store (No Frills) and see what I could purchase if to last me for the week, while staying within the budget of fifty dollars. I planned on purchasing products with high nutritional value, but when I calculated the items in my cart- it was way over budget. I felt like I ultimately was left with two choices; first to buy as much as healthy foods as I can by staying within the budget but acknowledge and accept that the amount of this nutritional foods will not last me seven days. Second was to eat low nutritional value foods “junk/garbage/quick foods”. This included frozen foods, microwavable foods and quick stove/oven foods; I chose the latter. These types of foods may be okay to have once in a while but if consumers are left with no choice and shop with a budget, there’s not much options available to them. At this point I strongly understood the difficulties that people who experience poverty have to live with- or at least to say I had an idea. Please see the attached receipts, as I also included a chart for extra clarity. Throughout the whole week I have spent $45.62, as I had $4.38 left to spend. To conclude malnutrition, unbalanced diets and food insecurity is a serious concern. The effects of can produce (long) health problems and leave some to become irreversible (Barrett, 2010). Adding on, continuous use of eating unhealthy balanced diets (such as Kraft Dinner, frozen foods, microwavable meals ect.) can result in persistent health problems and sooner or later affect your overall well being (this includes one’s mental, physical, spiritual and emotional state of being). The effects are very severe and ultimately alters one’s overall being. The measurement of food insecurity at ones household involves the measurement of those psychological and social or normative constructs that are central to the experience of food insecurity (Campbell, 1991).Field NotesSunday January 7th, 2018I missed breakfast. Lunch was Kraft Dinner and Dinner was leftover Kraft Dinner. I have been drinking tap water all day.I’m not much of a breakfast person on a regular base so the morning was pretty normal. Lunch was fun, I love eating kraft dinner- except during this poverty challenge I used tap water instead of milk. Which surprisingly still taste pretty good, it’s not that much of a difference than having milk (the milk only makes it creamy but the taste and consistency is the same). I usually cannot finish a whole box of KD by myself so whatever I did not eat, I saved for dinner. Monday January 8th, 2018I missed breakfast. Lunch was Kraft Dinner and Dinner was leftover Kraft Dinner. I have been drinking tap water all day. I’m surprised I have not gotten sick of the taste of KD, maybe it’s because I often never eat it that much. Other than that the day was pretty good, I did not starve as much as I thought but I did have some mild pains in my stomach, I am most likely going to get my period soon. Tuesday January 9th, 2018I missed breakfast. Lunch was Kraft dinner and I skipped dinner because I did not feel well. I got my period and I have been drinking warm tap water all day. Day one of my period and I am in excruciating pain that has made me feel nauseous and given me loss of my appetite. I came home from school early (around 1pm) and slept the whole time until 6:30pm to ignore the cramps and nausea. When I woke, I got ready for cheerleading practice at 8pm until 11pm. I came home and I was so tired, I watched a movie and cried myself to sleep. Mentally I felt very depressed and had zero appetite for anything. Wednesday January 10th, 2018Missed breakfast. Lunch I went out to popeyes and bought a big box of chicken. I skipped dinner because I did not feel well, still have bad menstruation pains.. I have been drinking tap water all day. I feel like garbage, mentally and physically. My migraines have been getting worse from this horrible diet, non-eating, my menstrual pains and it is preventing me from eating, sleeping and even thinking straight. The pain of my migraines and period become very overwhelming for me during this time I do not want to eat anything, and the simplest smell makes me nauseous. I am becoming very cranky, lazy, tired and I feel dead inside. I could not stay asleep and when I did end up sleeping I kept waking up in intervals; which ultimately will make me super cranky the next day.Thursday January 11th, 2018At school I ate a cinnamon raisin bagel (from Tim Hortons) and brought my popeyes chicken leftovers from last night (2 pieces) and I bought a beef patty and a slice of cake from the Jamaican store. Before dinner I treated myself to get bubble tea, since they were having their daily special for a large mango bubble tea with tapioca for about five dollars with tax. Dinner I ate more leftover chicken and I have been drinking tap water all day. I fell asleep with a migraine last night and then woke up early with an even worse migraine. This ruined my day already and I was stuck in a depressing mood that I could not shake the stress of school, cheerleading, my health and other responsibilities. Since I had a really bad migraine in the morning this lead to me eating something small (the bagel), then my period cravings hit and I became super hungry, today has been the most I’ve eaten all week; probably because my period is almost over (Thank God!). I went to go pick up more of my migraine medicine at the doctor and around that area they have the best jamaican patties and rum cake so I bought one of each. When I got home to eat I ate Kraft Dinner and fell asleep early. Friday January 12th, 2018Missed breakfast. Lunch and dinner I had chicken from the other nights leftovers. I am surprised that the chicken is lasting me this long, probably because I bought a whole box for myself and rarely ate because of my period. I’m feeling more tired than usual, especially on a friday. I slept for most of the day, and while I was awake I rarely feel hungry- Just very lethargic. Sleeping helps me forget that I’m in pain or if I was hungry. I know my mental, physical and emotional state is not normal at the moment and it probably because of my diet. I tried to stay relatively stress free and relax throughout the day to prevent the hyperactivity in my brain which would lead me to having another painful migraine. Saturday January 13th, 2018I missed breakfast, and I ate Kraft Dinner for lunch and dinner. I woke up early for cheerleading practice in the morning, I was well rested and quite actually looked forward to eating warm KD on this cold winter’s day after practice. After my meals I did some studying and reading. This felt like the longest week of my life, I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster, my mind was not at a good place most days and I’m just glad to be done with this challenge. SummaryRecollecting my thoughts, feelings and physical well being during this food and poverty challenge, I am proud to see that I have passed this challenge without going over budget but I also wouldn’t have gotten through the week if the Kraft Dinner wasn’t on sale and if I didn’t get my period. To clarify a bulk box of Kraft Dinner was on sale at no frills, with 8 boxes in one pack for five dollars and eighty eight cents (before taxes). I purchased two boxes to last me for the whole week but I only ended up eating one box to one and a half per day. My regular medical history of migraines also helped me get through this week- painfully but completed. The regular occurrence of my migraines without balance meals triggered and intensified the hyperactivity in my brain causing me to feel nauseous, lethargic, and overall miss a few meals. I thought about how my week would be different if I did not get my period, or if I wasn’t prone to chronic migraines. I know that I would have ate more and definitely not stay within the budget. I understand that having Kraft Dinner everyday is not a smart or healthy diet/ food choice and I could only imagine the health effects that would lead to the constant use of eating these types of “quick foods”. I know that the purchase of milk and butter are supposedly required for the ingredients and from first hand experience, yes there is a different but not as much as you think. I substituted the milk and butter to tap water, ultimately using milk and butter is to improve the consistency and the creaminess of the pasta- other than that the taste is roughly the same. But I definitely would not use water unless I was left no choice. From this diet I recognize the health problems, and how it would clearly reflect in a persons behaviour and cognitive abilities. “The proper diet is essential for children as well as adults, without balanced meals this can lead to improper development and compromised mental state” (Cook & Frank 2008). During this week I know I was completely unhealthy/ malnourished and my experience for the week does not compare to what individuals have to go through on a regular day. These cases become more serious when children are involved, because they require a healthy diet and a sufficient amount of food for healthy development. The study by Cook and Frank discuss the importance of healthy child development and the position mothers are in to sacrifice for their children. Mothers or any legal guardian become responsible for the healthy development of children and young adults. The study also includes the importance of social role ands links physical, emotional and mental instabilities to food scarcity. “Adequate prenatal nutrition is critical for normal development of the fetal body and brain. Although much research has confirmed the importance of nutrition during the prenatal and neonatal periods, far fewer studies have specifically addressed the role of food security per se for this part of the life cycle. Food insecurity has been associated with low-birthweight deliveries and with a variety of psychosocial risk factors in moderate-risk to high-risk pregnancies with observable dose–response relationships (increasingly higher psychosocial risks with increasing severity of food insecurity). (Cook & Frank, 2008)”. Another study concludes that “Chronic poverty is closely linked with both chronic and transitory food insecurity. The chronically poor are often the most vulnerable to food insecurity – particularly exposed to food insecurity hazards as well as having limited coping mechanisms to deal with such hazards. Food insecurity in turn can further deepen poverty, not just in terms of negative nutritional effects on health and livelihoods but through the use of coping mechanisms such as asset sales which make it harder for families to lift themselves out of the poverty trap.Ultimately there are numbers of studies that have proven the link between human health and well being in contrast to food scarcity and poverty as a whole.” (Harrigan, 2007).