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“Dying Young: Parents Outliving their Children"

Hey, it’s Carissa. There are a lot of things I’ve been hearing about our generation. Whether the story is about crime, poor health, teen pregnancy etc. there’s almost never anything good happening. I try not to listen and just set myself apart but when I heard that it’s predicted that we won’t even outlive our parents ( I felt like something has to be done. If we’re starting this poor health trend now then what does that mean for our children and their children? I want to be able to live life to the fullest and that means living a long time.

I looked into the why and how of this prediction that today’s teens may not even outlive their parents and it’s not due to violence (as I initially thought). It’s due to health problems that are generally related to how we eat. I know if my mom had to watch me pass away especially due to something I could have changed she would be so very disappointed and sad. More and more children and teens are developing type 2 diabetes than ever before. Diabetes which is linked to obesity is a serious epidemic nationwide. Whether it’s the lack of physical exercise in our lives or the over abundance of unhealthy foods that are available in our communities we need to fight back. I want to live to see my grandkids but at this rate who knows? Death can be a really scary thought and this made it worse for me. I really want to prove this prediction wrong and make a difference not only for myself but for my community.

My first thought was to shame and totally blame food companies and food marketers. Then I realize there is also the argument that we have the ability to chose between right and wrong and make choices for ourselves. So let’s make the choice for ourselves, for our generation and for generations to come to demand better food and beverages options in our community.

With all the problems and challenges in our communities it’s easy to become distracted about how important healthy food and beverage choices are for us. Finding a way to make healthy food and beverages as available and affordable as unhealthy foods and beverages is pretty important to me now. Eat less fast food, drink more water, add more fruit and vegetables to my plate, watch less TV, or go for more jogs and stay active are just some of the things I’m doing not to become another statistic. Every little thing counts one small step can make a difference.

How did this make you feel to think that the food and beverage choices you make could shorten your life? Spread the word - SHIFTDemand.

Carissa, SHIFT Crew Leader

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