NAPLES, Italy — As of June 21, summer began along with a heatwave sweeping through cities in Italy.
In Naples, the Healthy Lifestyle Festival at the U.S. Naval Support Activity (NSA) Naples’ Commissary beat the summer heat by promoting healthy fare for military families, June 25.
The parking lot of the NSA Naples’ Commissary was transformed into a mini-fair decorated with a bounce house and various booths promoting hydration and healthy food habits.
In celebration of Italy and America’s summertime staple, the festival also included a watermelon-eating contest for all ages.
“It’s a lot harder than it looks,” said Chief Information Systems Technician Chris Medford, who participated in the adult-category of the festival’s watermelon-eating contest.
Medford said that he is glad that he brought his family to the Healthy Lifestyle Festival.
“I think the festival is something fun that the whole family can participate and it’s for a good purpose,” said Medford.
According to the American Heart Association, watermelon is about 92-percent water, which makes it an excellent snack during the heat of the summer.
Staff from U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Naples set up a tropical-themed healthy hydration station with infused water beverages, such as lime spritzer and cucumbers, for visitors to try for free.
According to Chasity Bass, health promotion and wellness manager at USNH Naples, jazzing up water with fruit or vegetable infusions is a tasty and almost calorie-free way to drink water, especially for those who have an aversion to the taste of water.
“We’re offering alternatives to sodas and showing how to add flavor to water without adding sugar,” said Bass.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, water can prevent hydration and help manage body weight.
“Sugary drinks take the water out of our cells,” said Bass.
Armando Zapata, grocery manager for NSA Naples’ Commissary, served up trays of free watermelon and bottled water for visiting families.
“This is the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve had the Healthy Lifestyle Festival,” said Zapata. “We’ve had a great time with the families, and the families get to enjoy summer by eating healthy fruits and vegetables.”
NSA Naples is an operational ashore base that enables U.S., allied, and partner nation forces to be where they are needed, when they are needed to ensure security and stability in the European, African, and Central Command areas of responsibility.
For more news about NSA Naples and the Sailors who serve onboard the installation, please follow us on Instagram @NSANaples and Facebook at facebook.com/NSANaples/.