FAMU challenges healthy eating, one hour at a time

Future Public Health Professionals held their first Healthy Happy Hour in Florida A&M University’s Science Research Building Tuesday afternoon.

The purpose was to emphasize the importance of healthy eating, which in turn promotes a healthy lifestyle.

President of Future Public Health Professionals Cortlyn Starr, a recent FAMU graduate with a master’s in public health and a concentration in environmental and occupational health, said that this event was show significance of public health.

“This event was introduced because of National Public Health Week and the goal was to inform those that public health was one of the essential aspects of healthcare that makes the world go ‘round,” Starr said. “Without global health, without minority health, any aspect of healthcare has to involve public health.”

This year, the American Public Health Association said they are trying to make America the healthiest nation by the year 2030. Healthy Happy Hour was a theme that was picked and one of the aspects of trying to make a health nation was ensuring health communities.

Healthy Happy Hour didn’t only describe what healthy eating should consist of, but it also displayed healthy eating as an alternative for people seeking a healthy lifestyle.

The theme Healthy Happy Hour was chosen to go alongside National Public Health Week, and a prelude to “Healthiest Community 2023: A Panel Discussion on Social Justice in Health” Thursday in the Leon County Health Department.

The panel consisted of Miaisha Mitchell, executive director of Greater Frenchtown Governors Front Porch Revitalization Council; City of Tallahassee’s manager of water operations David Roberts; Florida Department of Health’s minority AIDS coordinator  Jazmyne Simmons; vice president of South City Revitalization Neighborhood Community Association Marie Bryant; and Dr. Cynthia Harris, director of the Institute of Public Health for FAMU’s College of Pharmaceutical Sciences (COPPS).

Topics discussed focused on access to healthy foods in the community, addressing the stigma of HIV/AIDS and avoiding steps the community could take to avoid a water crisis like the one in Flint, Mich.

Vice president of Future Public Health Professionals and FAMU graduate public health student Desiree Jonas said that NPHW is meant for people to take what they have learned and aim it toward their neighborhood.

“This initiative started some years ago before I got involved in the program. National Public Health Week is held every year and is a national event. You take it and tailor it toward the needs of your community,” Jonas said.