Latina teens teach their community how to eat healthy

It's not every day that a group of teenagers can capture the attention of a crowded hospital waiting room, but that's exactly what happened at the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital last week in New York City. Two young Latinas, Estefania Diaz and Vanessa Lee Tejada, were there to present a free nutrition workshop.

As someone who is similarly interested in nutrition and healthy eating, I am really impressed by the courage that these girls had to not only participate in the program but actually go into a hospital and talk to people who, to be honest, probably had pretty weary faces at the start.


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When they began, Kori Petrovic, an outreach coordinator for GrowNYC, explained that she and the two girls were there as part of a program run by Morrisania high schools and the environmental nonprofit that she works for, according to Estefania, 19, and Vanessa, 22, both became connected with the work at school and have continued their work since graduation.

The Latinas put the group through an oral exam called the McDonald's IQ test, where they asked the crowd, in both English and Spanish, which meals they thought had more calories while holding up photos of things like the McDonald's Angus Bacon and Cheese burger and the Big Breakfast. Meanwhile, as the crowd guessed and gasped at the results, Estefania sautéed some carrots with kale, which most of the people graciously accepted as a healthy snack later on.

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Since the Bronx leads NYC in the highest rates of obesity and diabetes (something which Latinos serious suffer from) and there is a high Latin population in the borough, these girls are definitely doing some good work. I'm very inspired by their determination to "keep a lot of people out of the hospital" with their "healthy-eating pitch." If they can get their community to eat right, then there's hope for the rest of us to help improve our communities, too.

What do you think about these Latina teens trying to make their community healthier? Are you hoping your kids will get involved with healthier eating? Share with us in the comments below!

Image via Thinkstock

Topics: latina role models  teenagers  gmo food  healthy eating