As I moved into a house next to the administration building in an effort to walk to school, save on gas and get my daily work out, I noticed that there was a new restaurant down the street, Captain D’s Seafood.
At first I thought this was a good idea.
Finally I could get that tasty bread that I have been deprived of ever since I moved to Tallahassee to go to school, I said to myself.
But then as I began to drive around this side of town I noticed that the majority of places are nothing but unhealthy fast food restaurants and stores that do not have the health of the south side people in mind.
Are they trying to kill us on the south side?
As we all know, America is becoming a nation plagued by obesity issues at alarming rates.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 65 percent of adults and 16 percent of children in the U.S. are overweight, with more than 30 percent qualifying as obese.
Moreover, obesity rates among children have doubled over the last two decades.
But what bothers me more is the fact that the people who are experiencing the largest weight increases are African-Americans. And with Florida A&M University being a historically black university, I feel this is an important matter that needs to be addressed.
But one has to ask, “How has the nation fallen short in helping to maintain healthy weights?”
And for that answer, I urge you to simply take a look around this side of town, even on our campus.
When you look around our side of town we have a Rally’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Mc Donald’s, Burger King, Captain D’s and Winn Dixie. Not to mention a Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fired Chicken conveniently stationed on campus.
Now don’t get me wrong, I too frequent these restaurants, but why is it that when you go over near Florida State University, away from FAMU, there is a variety of health-food stores, such as Panera Bread Company, New Leaf Market, Publix (the grocery store with the freshest produce and wide variety of products) and so much more?
I don’t understand why there is a Quiznos, Subway, and a health food store within walking distance of FSU, but in order for FAMU students to get that same service we must get in the car and drive.
With African-Americans as one of the minorities that are leading the nation in the obesity epidemic, I think it is important that we start to wise up and see that what we are eating is killing us.
Yes, I know that healthier food is more expensive and harder to access than other fattening foods, but it is imperative that we try. If that means drastically reducing buying Ramen noodles, cheap meats and eating fast foods, then that is what needs to happen.
It is great that FAMU has opened the new fitness center. At least the school has recognized there is a problem and is presenting a solution.
Katrelle Simmons is a third-year English Education student from Orlando. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.