Every year since 1948, people worldwide have been observing Human Rights Day on 10 December. Having kick-started with the declaration that all human beings are born with equal rights & fundamental freedoms, this initiative of WHO has taught us to claim what is ours- Right to health.
“The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being…” ~ World Health Organization
What makes your average Indian woman hesitate to grab this right? As women we are guilty of putting our health in the last strung of the priority-ladder. Setting aside the deep-seated conditioning, it is high time we accept that taking charge of one’s health & life doesn’t dilute womanliness in any way. And yes, it is time to scrutinize our mechanical compliance so that health becomes atleast one of the top 5 priority.
“Fish did not discover water. Infact because they are completely immersed in it, they live unaware of its existence. Similarly when a conduct is normalized by a dominant cultural environment it becomes invisible.” ~ Marshall McLuhen
Lets explore some common trends that violate women’s Right to good nutrition & eventually Right to health by women themselves.
- Eating last: It is common, particularly in middle class homes, for women to eat after everybody else had their meals. A double-edged sword attitude it is.
Whys it bad: Not only do they eat much late after repeated growl-alarms from their stomachs, there may not be enough food (especially side dishes) left. A major nutritional compromise! On the other hand when too much is left over, guilty of wasting, they tend to wipe the vessel clean.
How to rectify: Make your mealtimes a family time!
- Eating old food: Another common trend is eating old refrigerated food even when fresh food is available. Again, due to the guilt of wasting food!
Whys it bad: Eating fresh means better nourishment! The longer it takes you to eat that roti sabzi, the faster its nutrients escape from it.
How to rectify: That’s quite straightforward. Eat fresh i.e. eat food atleast within 3 hours of preparation.
- Never opting for their personal favourite food: Post marriage, woman not only change their surname but also eating habits, albeit unconsciously, but also their favourite food cooked in a way they have liked since small.
Whys it bad: Changes in food habits & late-nights after wedding will result in deficiency of your metabolizing and energy-giving Vitamin B stores.
How to rectify: Make it a point to eat your favourite dish atleast once a week.
Simple funda is, if you take complete responsibility for your family’s overall well-being, you need to be healthy. It is your right to health & you owe it your body!