Community Health Fair Educates, Entertains
“Let’s remember the most important things in life—family and health,” City Comptroller John Liu said at the Mount Sinai Queens— United Community Civic Association (UCCA) Community Health Fair, held June 2 at Immaculate Conception Church between 31st and 29th Streets, just north of Ditmars Boulevard, in Astoria. The fair drew some 1,500 adults and children between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. for what was billed as “a free day of fun for the entire family”.
Youngsters enjoyed face painting and Astoria Dance Centre students ranging in age from tots to teenagers performed in three afternoon sets. Food and opportunities for screening blood pressure, cholesterol level, bone density and asthma were free for all in attendance. Weather favored the fun, being overcast but never threatening rain which, helped keep the heat down.
At the body mass index (BMI) table, attendees learned that according to a BMI chart, a person five feet, nine inches in height weighing 150 pounds should have an index of 22-23, which is considered normal; beyond normal are classifications of overweight, obese and extremely obese, the last an update of the morbidly obese classification. Obesity would begin for the same individual at between 29 and 30, or 200 pounds, though warnings of being overweight would begin at a BMI between 26 and 27, or about 173 pounds.
Food offerings ranged from cotton candy to whole wheat sandwiches of cheese and peanut butter and jelly dispensed by the Department of Corrections, to an orecchetti, dried cherry and quinoa salad served at a booth maintained by Mount Sinai Queens that bore a sign promising “healthy summer eating”. The recipe for that salad, serving eight, was available at the booth. UCCA and Corrections also gave away fresh fruit and Mount Sinai Queens also handed out a U.S. Department of Agriculture, www.choosemyplate.gov refrigerator magnet that advised, “Eat a variety of veggies, especially dark green, red and orange ones.”