Bahamian Eating Habits

Powerful Essays
Topics: Nutrition
Introduction A countries culture is displayed through the attitude of its people, dress, music, art and food. As Bahamians food plays an important and unique part in our social interactions and defining us as Bahamian. In fact, a popular Bahamian song insists that while visiting the Bahamas you must “try some conch, peas ‘n’ rice and guava duff” which are all delicious native delicacies. Even though it is great that we embrace and love this aspect of our culture this attitude has a negative effect on our eating habits. Eating habits are the way a person or group eats (Collins English, 2013). When looking at a person or groups eating habits one must consider what types of food are consumed, how the food is prepared, the quantities of the food eaten and when it is eaten.
The Social Aspect of Eating
To live and grow humans must eat daily. However, for Bahamians the consumption of food is not just a means for nourishment but an occasion. Regattas, holidays and family gatherings, like funerals and baby dedications, provide the opportunity to indulge in our eating. In fact, the “eats” after and during these occasions are anticipated and enjoyed more than the actual events. During social gatherings food is present and eaten in colossal amounts. A typical Bahamian Christmas dinner consists of baked ham, turkey with stuffing, peas ‘n’ rice, yam, sweet potato, baked macaroni and cheese, potato salad, coleslaw and desserts. Alcoholic beverages, sugary drinks (like switcha) and sodas are consumed in abundance as well. Switcha is a common Bahamian drink and is a mixture of water, lemon and excessive amounts of sugar. Alcoholic beverages, for example beers, are high in calories and are used as a means of relaxation and interaction with family and friends. In fact, the excess consumption of these beverages is seen largely in our male population who experience “abdominal girth” from drinking too much (Butler, 2007).
A social occasion is not complete without food this is the



References: Butler, S. (2007, June 28). The dangers of obesity. The Freeport News. Retrieved from http://freeport.nassauguardian.net Department of Statistics. (2004). Bahamas living conditions survey 2001. Nassau, BS: Bahamas Printing Office. Eating habits. (2013). In Collins English online dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/eating-habits Green, N. P. O, Stout, G. W. & Taylor, D. J. (1997). Biological science 1 & 2 (3rd ed.). United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. McDonald 's USA Nutrition Facts for Popular Menu Items. (2013). Retrieved from http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/getnutrition/nutritionfacts.pdf Nutrition Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved March 29, 2013, from http://www.gblbahamas.org/Resources/nutrition%20overview.html What is a Balanced Diet? (2004). Retrieved March 29, 2013, from http://caloriecount.about.com/article/what_is_a_balanced_diet Zelman, K. (2004). Are You a Midnight Muncher? Retrieved from http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=56681 Zelman, K. (2012). Portion Control and Size Guide. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/diet/printable/wallet-portion-control-size-guide

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