Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Since my last post dealt so much with the food offerings at the Iowa State Fair, I thought you may be interested in a little more detail. And actually, this detail may help you to better understand, at least partially, why I find the Iowa State Fair to be an extremely unhealthy place to take a family. The following was taken from the Metromix section of today's newspaper, The Des Moines Register.
How many fair foods on a stick can you take?
How many of these 36 foods on a stick can you choke down at the Iowa State Fair? Collect ‘em all! To help you track down and try everything on-a-stick at this year’s fair, we provide this handy checklist of impaled delicacies:

___ 1. Pickle on-a-stick

___ 2. Pork chop on-a-stick
___ 3. Corn dog

___ 4. Cheese on-a-stick

___ 5. Cajun chicken on-a-stick

___ 6. Sesame chicken on-a-stick

___ 7. Caramel apple

___ 8. German sausage on-a-stick

___ 9. Teriyaki beef on-a-stick

___ 10. Corn-on-the-cob on-a-stick

___ 11. Cotton candy

___ 12. Veggie dog on-a-stick

___ 13. Turkey drumstick

___ 14. Nutty bar

___ 15. Fried pickle on-a-stick

___ 16. Hot bologna on-a-stick

___ 17. Shrimp on-a-stick

___ 18. Chicken on-a-stick

___ 19. Monkey Tails (chocolate-covered banana on-a-stick)

___ 20. Taffy on-a-stick

___ 21. Honey on-a-stick

___ 22. Ice cream Wonder Bar

___ 23. Deep fried candy bar on-a-stick

___ 24. Deep fried Twinkie on-a-stick

___ 25. Lamb on-a-stick

___ 26. Meatballs on-a-stick

___ 27. Deep fried Ho Ho on-a-stick

___ 28. Fudge Puppy (waffle drenched in chocolate syrup and topped with whipped cream)
___ 29. Chili Dog on-a-stick

___ 30. Funtastick pork on-a-stick

___ 31. Dutch letters on-a-stick

___ 32. Turkey tenders on-a-stick

___ 33. Deep fried hot dog on-a-stick

___ 34. Chocolate-covered cheesecake on-a-stick

___ 35. Potato Lollipop (4 thick slices of russet potato deep fried and on-a-stick with dipping sauces)
___ *NEW* 36. Pineapple on-a-stick (Fresh pineapple dipped in funnel cake batter and deep fried)
(End of article)

In addition to other food items such as pizza and sandwiches, there are drinks such as soda pop, lemonade and beer; there are hardly any water fountains and bottled water costs a small fortune.

NOW here, in my humble opinion, is where the rubber meets the road. Iowa has a high obesity rate; yet, the powers that be continue to pretend that Iowa wants to be healthy. Each year there is a campaign called Lighten Up Iowa which supposedly encourages people to lose weight. (I understand that the campaign will have a name change next year.) The following is from their web site:

January 16 – April 24, 2008
What is Lighten Up Iowa? Lighten Up Iowa (LUI) is a team based program designed to help Iowans make positive changes during the course of 100 Days (January 16 – April 24) to help them move toward a healthier lifestyle.

Lighten Up Iowa will encourage participants during the program by giving them physical activities, activity ideas and tips on healthy eating and proper nutrition.

What defines a 'team'? A team consists of 2-10 people who are positive and motivated to change their lifestyle.

What divisions are offered for my team?

Weight Loss Division – Team goal is to lose the highest percentage of their initial body
weight. Teams competing in this division and wanting a chance to win the grand prize
must participate in the initial weigh in and the final weigh out.

Activity Minute Division – Team goal is to record the highest total of activity minutes.
These minutes are to be outside your normal daily routine and part of a balanced exercise

Weight Loss AND Activity Minute Division – Team goal is to reduce weight by
recording activity minutes as a part of working toward a healthy lifestyle. Teams
competing in this division and wanting a chance to win the prize package must participate
in the initial weigh in and the final weigh out.

(End of article)

This is an image taken from another Lighten Up Iowa site.
You won't see many of these foods at the Iowa State Fair!

The following is taken from an article published by the Iowa Department of Public Health:

"A Public Health Issue - Obesity is quickly becoming a leading public health challenge in Iowa. The rate of overweight and obesity has [so] dramatically increased among adults, adolescents as well as children, that the new concept of an obesity epidemic is widespread in the public health dialogue. In Iowa, over half of Iowa adults are overweight or obese."

In Iowa, we start 'em out young.

We lived in Colorado for about twenty years before returning to Iowa, the state of our birth, about eleven years ago. During these eleven years, I have gained so much weight that it has begun to impact my health. Now, under a doctor's care, I am in the process of trying to lose it. Do you have any idea how much harder it is to take it off than it was to put it on??? And this, Dear Reader, is probably one of the most important reasons why I don't attend The Iowa State Fair.

Forty-seven years ago, I married into a family who lived to eat instead of eating to live. The rate of diabetes and coronary artery disease is very high in this family. In fact, longevity isn't one of their family values. Thankfully, neither of these diseases has caught up with me yet, but if I don't change my habits, it's only a matter of time. My husband, on the other hand, has diabetes, high blood pressure, heart trouble, coronary artery disease, (three bouts with blood clots), and it is extremely depressing to realize that I will probably become a widow long before I should be. The eating habits of most Iowans is atrocious, and it's hypocritical for the state to push a weight loss program like Lighten Up Iowa while making food, very unhealthy food, the main focus of our state fair.

My bitterness towards this hypocrisy almost overwhelms me during state fair time, and especially this year, as Hubby has been hospitalized twice since the last state fair. But I promise to give equal time and space to some of the fun things available at The Iowa State Fair........., next time; promise! Meanwhile, please eat healthy, throw your TV out and get moving!

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