Women from Peñalolen Graduate from Nutrition and Social Determinants of Health Workshop
Santiago, Chile, October 23, 2014 (EPES). – Luz Osorio, 45, is cooking a spinach and walnut frittata. Her daughter Scarlett Jara, 22, hands her the ingredients. They are a motivated team. This is the last recipe they will prepare in the nutrition and the social determinates of health workshop that EPES is giving in their neighborhood of Peñalolen.
Diet and health do not depend on individual choices alone. They are affected by access to food, financial resources, education, health care, as well as age, gender, social class, neighborhood and other factors that the World Health Organization (WHO) identifies as the social determinants of health.
“Because of my work schedule, I had not been able to participate in a community activity for years. This workshop has allowed me to meet and share with women who are my neighbors” shared Luz.
Scarlet, says “This recipe has eggs, milk, spinach, onions and walnuts. I would have never thought of it”. She also highlights that she is learning to cook with fewer ingredients – the same ones she usually purchases -but now in healthier ways. She also adds “I have not tried this recipe yet, but I know it will be delicious”
Daniela Lizama, 15, is studying to be a preschool teacher and wants to encourage her future students to eat healthy. “In low income neighborhoods, people eat too much junk food. Rather than spending time cooking at home, people buy completos (a Chilean hotdog which is sold in food carts and restaurants all over the city). Kids are the most affected, they eat unhealthy foods and suffer from obesity from a very young age”.
Myrian Barria, 59, shares “Because I have diabetes I have to eat without salt and sugar. Now I know how to prepare foods and portion control. I feel like it will improve my quality of life and my families too”.
Carmen Naveas, 62, points out “I became more aware of the importance of eating healthy. With only a few ingredients we can make food that is delicious and nutritious. For example, how to prepare zucchini and spinach in new ways, or how to mix differently the same produce that we buy at the food market at a low price”.
Nancy Solar, 40-year old woman says “I was confused and had little information. Now I have been able to change my eating habits and I have more energy. At first I thought I was just going to be told to lose weight by eating healthier, but it has been a much deeper learning process and awareness. I value being able to share with other women and being able to apply what we have learned”
All the participants agreed that the workshop was more than just learning new recipes and nutritional facts.
Celia Higueras, Health Educator at EPES, carefully observes as the women cook and apply the knowledge they have learned. These hands on workshops have been in four Santiago neighborhoods and in the city of Conception where EPES also has a center.
Celia distributes the graduation certificates and then everyone sits down to eat the meals they have cooked together in class. Participants hope that there will be another workshop soon and more women join.