A few weeks ago, our BEAT team organized an iron-rich cereal drive to donate to the Shuman Juvenile Detention Center located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, dedicated to providing a “secure facility… that promotes safety, health, and resident development.” Upon reading their statement, BEAT felt driven to facilitate this resident development, both physically and mentally, through our Cereal Drive. Thanks to many generous contributions, we were able to donate a total of 94 boxes of iron-rich and nutritious cereal!
We collected cereals specifically high in iron, that would help improve and prevent anemia. Some brands and types that are iron-rich and delicious include Special K, Cheerios, Raisin Bran, granola and muesli and are just a few examples of an easy way to incorporate iron into the diet.
Studies have shown that residents of Juvenile detention centers are largely more susceptible to obesity compared to their counterparts not affiliated with the system. This disproportion illustrates a higher risk for developing serious health issues such as chronic heart diseases and diabetes, and can be directly attributed to the lack of proper nutrition present in these centers. Not only can improper nutrition lead to adverse health reactions, aggressive behavior also has a clear correlation with faulty nutrition. In a study conducted at the University of Oxford, one group was given nutritional supplements while the other was given a placebo, and the results were remarkable: the group with the better diet reported 26% fewer offenses in detention, and 37% fewer serious or violent offenses (The Imprint). Furthermore, excessively sugary foods, such as some popular breakfast cereals, can intensify reckless behavior and hyperactivity. As a result of these findings, BEAT has decided to provide a healthy, iron-rich alternative for these cereals, thereby greatly diminishing the risk for both obesity and nutritional anemia and behavioral problems among juveniles in detention centers.
Nutrition must be a top priority in Juvenile Detention Centers as a healthy lifestyle is necessary for these growing adolescents to not only prevent serious health problems, but decrease incarceration rates as well.
Remember: healthy cereals benefit all! Incorporating the brands mentioned above will not only satisfy your cereal cravings but will also improve your lifestyle as a whole.
Thank you to everyone who donated cereal and money - many young teens will benefit from your generosity!