Sugared energy drinks, fatty foods, video games and television…. just a few of the 21st Century’s creature comforts. They allow the everyday American to live a life of indulgence, and many don’t have to leave home at all to make a living and enjoy their off time. But for service members, these simple pleasures pose a slew of pitfalls that can lead to unhealthy lifestyles and to a military less fit to do its job.
To combat these modern trends, officials with Marine Corps Community Services held a Health and Wellness Fair Aug. 18 at the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific headquarters building for service members and employees assigned here.
The event was intended to promote programs MCCS offers to service members and their families to relieve stress and encourage better physical fitness habits, according to Dan Dufrene, MCCS’s Semper Fit health promotion coordinator.
“We hadn’t had an opportunity to come to Camp Smith in a while, so we felt we should make sure everyone is aware of the programs available and how they can enroll,” Dufrene said. “We want to improve the quality of life for all service members and their families as much as we can.”
During the event, MCCS, and Navy and Army medical health specialists set up booths offering attendees nutritional advice, physical training programs, alternatives to sugar-based energy drinks, and alcohol and drug abuse information.
“The biggest problem Americans face today, nutritionally, is they don’t have any whole grains in their diet,” said Army 1st Lt. Joy Metevier, a nutritionist with Tripler Army Medical Center, as she promoted whole-grain cereals at the event. “Nutrients are best consumed naturally. When they are artificially added, the body doesn’t absorb them properly which can lead to all types of conditions, colon cancer being the number-one concern.”
In addition to the physical health booths, MCCS officials offered numerous programs to help service members deal with stress, to include relocation assistance programs, anger management workshops and outdoor recreational facilities.
“We have all kinds of equipment people can rent and classes for those who are new to activities like sailing,” said Megan Corlin, a recreational assistant with the Kaneohe Bay Outdoor Recreation Center and Marina. “It’s a great way to get out, have a good time in the water and just go relieve some stress.”
One Marine believed the event was a great success.
“I think this was a great idea,” said Cpl. Marvin Carmona, Defense Travel System noncommissioned officer in charge for MarForPac’s administration section. “There’s a lot of information here that I never knew about and I’m sure there are other Marines at the command who haven’t either.”