Concession stands boasting fried catfish and french fries, pork ribs drenched in barbecue and mustard-based sauce, diabetic lemonade, sweet tea and smoothies and deep-fried funnel cakes slathered in bleached, refined powdered sugar will cluster Wahnish Way in honor of FAMU’s homecoming week.
Mouth-watering dishes at ridiculously low prices in plentiful quantities will be within arm’s reach for FAMU students and faculty. Yes, homecoming cuisine is every food-deprived and monetarily handicapped college student’s dream. Despite the undeniable delectable goodness of these dishes, they are every vegetarian, vegan or semi-health conscious person’s nightmare. Without a salad, fruit and vegetable, or low-fat food option aside from the Subway off of Lake Bradford, homecoming is celebrated as a week of over-indulgence and the release of all food inhibitions. Deep-fried Oreos…Why Not? Sausage, chicken and seafood jambalaya…of course.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health, blacks are twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes as whites and more likely to have high blood pressure. These statistics are specifically relevant to college-aged students, as blacks over the age of 18 are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes as whites, according to a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted in 2008. These dishes may seem to be a harmless option in the short run, a bowl of fried rice here and a deep-fried funnel cake there.
But the effects of excess consumption of these foods are harmful for students and know no age. These effects are particularly detrimental during homecoming week. While students are more likely to stop at a food stand between classes or on their way to work, or buy food from a concession stand before and during the homecoming game, it is important to remember moderation. Homecoming is a time for fun and celebration, not potentially lasting damage to one’s livelihood.