CCMS Medicine Winter 2017 - 28

www.CHESTERCMS.org

Girls In Medicine

Student Promotes Healthy Eating
for PA Teen Health Week 2017
BY DIVYA SIVAKUMAR, GIRLS IN MEDICINE LEVEL 2
JUNIOR, GREAT VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL

H

ow many times have you heard the phrase "Eat healthy"?
Now, how many times have you seen someone DO something
to show you how to incorporate healthy eating habits into
your daily life? I am lucky enough to have worked with Dr. Ana M.
Negron, a family physician who volunteers at The Clinic, on a sixweek Healthy Heart pilot project. Throughout the six weeks,
I assisted Dr. Negron in teaching approximately twenty
participants from the Phoenixville area on how changing
eating habits can prevent and treat Type II Diabetes. It is
very well known that the typical American diet consists of
saturated fats, processed meats, sugary snacks and empty
calories, all of which lead to conditions such as obesity,
diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. I learned about food
literacy, how to stock a kitchen, shopping under a budget,
and how to cook quick healthy meals, all while having fun!
As a result of participation in the pilot project, some of the
individuals were able to reverse their diabetic conditions and
be taken off their prescribed medication!
Through the discussions and cooking demonstrations, I was
able to draw many parallels between healthy eating habits and teen
health. It has been found that the typical American diet, as mentioned
earlier, has not only been linked with physical chronic conditions, but also
with depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders in teens. By
reducing their intake of processed food and increasing balanced amounts
of fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, and water, our generation can greatly
reduce the chance of acquiring a chronic or mental illness. Working with
Dr. Negron on this project has made me change my own eating habits and
shown me the numerous benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Eating more plant-based foods has added more color and diversity to
my diet!
Divya is a team leader for The Clinic, Girls In Medicine program.
As part of her Girls In Medicine experience, Divya volunteered
with Dr. Negron to gain a deeper understanding of how food
impacts health outcomes. Divya volunteers at Phoenixville
Hospital after-school program and is currently working on
the Chester County Fit Festival and Medicine and Healthcare
Leadership Camp sponsored by The Clinic.

28 C H E S T E R C O U N T Y M e d i c i n e | W I N T E R 2 0 1 7


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