Our Youth, Fast Foods And Guns

The Caribbean Is One Nation.

                                                           Our Youth, Fast Foods And Guns

Recent media reports and findings of health management organizations have concluded, and we believe correctly so, that many Caribbean youths have become very fond of American styled fast foods. Cultural penetration can be deadly and invasive. In this case the old adage that the way to man’s heart is via his belly (stomach) rings very true. Unfortunately this worrying trend does not yield the romantic results, the adage referenced may have suggested, but the heart itself is in danger because the fast foods coupled with a lack of exercise, will not bring love to the heart but would result in heart attacks and other ailments.
The trend toward fast foods, has gained momentum in the last decade, because it is now safe to argue, that the region is more heavily influenced by American media than at any time during its history. Our youth know the basketballers, footballers and other sportspersons in America more than they know the names of our West Indies cricketers. American music, fashions and lifestyle have replaced the British influence we once lived under. And while we ponder about the direction in which the region is travelling, we are losing battle after battle because we just don’t have enough plaster to cover the socio-economic sores that keep appearing.
While we would be hesitant to suggest that the region’s youth are now only about guns and fast food, we cannot seriously deny that they are both, in more than ample supply, and can be easily accessed by our young folk.  What cannot be dismissed is that guns and fast food both have negative effects on our health systems. A Heart attack or a bullet lodged in your body requires urgent medical care and this is where the real bite is for our regional economies. We could find ourselves, during the next decade or so, spending scarce cash on non-communicable diseases and attending to those who are maimed by gun related and other violence.
It is becoming frighteningly clear that if we do not address this brutal wave of cultural penetration, we would lose, what should be some of our most productive citizens, to unhealthy lifestyles on both fronts. We have been often accused of being alarmists because we seek to highlight what others believe are figments of our imagination or overkill on our part. MCG takes no comfort in bringing these grave articles/blogs to our readers but we cannot demand transparency from our directionless leaders and then sweep our regional problems under the carpet.
We therefore call on civil society in the region to encourage our youth to avoid excessive consumption of fast foods and to totally avoid the use of firearms. Our regional youth cannot be nurtured on Fast foods and guns!

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