OSAN AIR BASE, SOUTH KOREA
Story by Staff Sgt. Sergio Gamboa
The new program, Food First!, started by the 51st Fighter Wing Drug Demand Reduction program, 51st Force Support Squadron dining facilities and the 51st Medical Group Health Promotion program, will educate active duty members about nutrition and safe supplement use.
To help promote the initiative, visual information campaigns will be set up at the dining facilities across base.
“The program highlights the importance of good nutrition, hydration, rest and recovery, and physical activity in the development and maintenance of good health as opposed to relying on supplements such as multivitamins and protein shakes,” said Lisa Roof, 51st MDG Health Promotion coordinator. “We want to get active duty members to have half of their plates be fruits and vegetables every day, at every meal.”
After learning about the new initiative and receiving feedback from dining facility users for healthier and more nutritious meal options, Tech. Sgt. James Tarone, 51st FSS Pacific House dining facility manager, worked with Roof to train his staff on nutritional facts in order to provide a better selection for guests.
“Our staff get asked a lot questions by customers on the line while serving or cooking,” said Tarone. “The training provided them with a stronger healthy and nutritional knowledge base. That is why we partnered together to accomplish our goals of making base customers more aware of food options available.”
Fifty-one percent of Air Force personnel took vitamin and mineral supplements to promote health according to a 2016 study of 1,750 U.S. Air Force personnel across eight installations.
“We believe that awareness and prevention are key to the health of Airmen,” said Orlando Jones, 51st FW DDRP director. “Nutrition is a big part of that.”
Here, less than 10 percent of active duty Airmen eat the recommended minimums of five servings of fruits and veggies each day. The daily consumption of them reduces risk ofdisease, improves skin health and can help improve body composition, Roof said.
“That’s why we are starting Food First! in the dining facilities,” added Roof. “We want to promote a healthier lifestyle. With many active duty members eating here, they always have an abundance of fruits and vegetables. Our initial message at the dining facilities is ‘Every day. Every plate. Half fruits and veggies.’”
For more information on vitamin and mineral supplements visit https://www.opss.org