Health important to ‘future farming’ at Fieldays

Nutrition and dietetics masters' students Dayna Stockley and Beatrice Drury

The ‘future of farming’ theme at this year’s National Fieldays is about more than just technology to change industries, it is also about the knowledge to lead healthier lives.

This is Massey University’s second year partnering with the Health and Wellbeing programme. Massey’s College of Health is promoting the theme: Shape your future: promoting healthy lives at booth number six in the Health and Wellbeing Hub.

On the booth, Massey Nutrition and Dietetics Masters students Dayna Stockley and Beatrice Drury will be talking with people about the sugar in their favourite drinks as well as the tasty, affordable and more healthy alternatives available.

Miss Stockley says many people are unaware of the calories they drink every day.

“Take Fieldays as a great example, you head to a food cart and grab a snack as you’ve been walking around all day. You think, ‘I’ve been walking around for hours. I’ve burnt enough calories to warrant something I wouldn’t usually have’. That’s a fair call, but you often get something to wash that food down, and a lot of us won’t consider the extra calories that are coming from the drink.”

The pair want to bridge this knowledge gap by displaying common drinks with sugar cubes next to them equivalent to the sugar in each drink.

"People know the amount of sugar that is in coke [Coca-cola], so there will be little surprise there, but there are other hidden sugar-loaded drinks,” says Miss Stockley. “When we were counting out the sugar cubes, even we were surprised at how much sugar was in some of those drinks, especially drinks like fruit juice, which people perceive as healthy because of the fruit, but there is still so much sugar and calories in them. Same goes for iced teas, and alcoholic drinks as well, so I think it will open people's eyes to how much they are actually consuming.”

“It's so easy to drink your calories and the sugar in them can have an effect on your body, your weight and your mood.”

Giving the crowds a taste of alternative drinks with less sugar.

Alternative hydration

The pair are offering different flavoured waters, including naturally flavoured water with ingredients like oranges and lemons, and a few other ideas like water flavoured with iced-tea water drops.

“We are not trying to criticise people for their choices, just create awareness about how much sugar is in different beverages,” says Miss Drury. “We want to show people that there are ways of reducing their sugar consumption through healthier alternatives that are also cheaper. 

“All of these drinks are natural, they taste good and they’re quite cheap. You'll have a lot of the ingredients in your gardens. Products that are in season as well like mint, lemons, limes, oranges, and kiwifruit. Maybe we will even have someone spark a new idea they may not have thought about, like fennel and orange flavour.”

The booth also features a spinning wheel with categories like movement/exercise, family and nutrition. People will be asked to spin the wheel, which will prompt a question based on the category. For example, if they get nutrition they may be asked if potatoes count towards their daily vegetable quota, or if they get exercise, what the best form of exercise for weight loss is. The questions are not about testing knowledge, but more about starting a conversation, the students stress.

Dayna and Beatrice putting their acting talents to the test helping out with the Rural Catch Competition.



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