I don't know how many of us do this or take notice of this, but EMS workers seem to have the worst eating habits possible.
Any time I clock-in to work a shift these days, I prepare myself for the worst (the worst food possible for my body). If it doesn't involve grease, sugar, and carbs in earth-shattering quantities, it probably won't be on my plate. Hamburgers, fried chicken, french fries, and soft drinks are the mainstays of my diet. Salads and any other foods that don't involve a deep-fryer have no place in the immediate future of my shift. Whatever does happen to land in my lap won't be there long anyway.
It's like we're in a unspoken competition with ourselves and each other to see who can devour our meals the quickest. It is true that we can be on a tight schedule where we are only allotted a few minutes to get our lunch or dinner in, but most of the time we end up sitting around the table with indigestion and tightly-buttoned shirts.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Our eating habits are borderline self-abuse. The more and more I think about it; I find it ironic that the people who sign up to protect the health of others seem to do the least to protect themselves.
Maybe the continuing education classes that we take should be a little more extensive in our personal well-being than just safe lifting techniques. It is entirely possible that we may just need to educate ourselves of the risks our eating habits pose to us. We might be able to take a note out of our brothers in the fire service on their exercise requirements. Perhaps a higher-calorie diet would be permissable if we are doing more to burn those calories in our daily grind.
What are your thoughts on the current EMS diet? Are you currently in a service that has implemented a plan to fight the obesity epidemic occuring within our own stations? How would you personally take charge of this situation?
Your ideas are always welcome!