SanaFirenze at the National Federation of Republican Woman, NFRW, in Alexandria, VA – United States of America, held on Dec 30 2016

Dr. Sana Barada, was received at the NFRW premises by president Carrie Almond for experience exchange on how raising public awareness on mental and physical health like food addiction can lead to more public safety and less crimes as part of politics education for woman society. Thanks to the on-site visit, possible future collaboration objectives were defined.

Having heard lot of enchanting stories about this super strong woman and her experience with the bus all over the States during the latest election, having a contact in common, I decided to give it a try grabbing an appointment for a meeting with her on my trip to the US early this christmas holiday. I don’t really have a good understanding of the American politics, but it would be fascinating to learn from her how to spread the word and deliver the message! this is indeed what I do for food addiction prevention. Another key element in common is the women community where there’s a higher prevalence of food addiction, or simply because women are more open up to talk about it. President Carrie worked out her schedule- on Christmas vacation with family- so she made it to get back to DC to meet me on Dec, 30! She received me on that day with Ms. Terri Hauser, the political director and Ms. Carol Littell, the director of meetings and conventions. I was so glad to know on that day about politicians interrupting their holidays to meet people just for the smallest possibility of helping different communities and exchanging knowledge!
As per president Almond, part of the NFRW services is to increase the participation of woman in the cause of good government by educating them in politics and legislation even at an early age and training them in active citizenship. The latest promotes for a ‘responsible citizen’, aware of her rights and responsibilities, starts by caring about her surrounding and capable of making very small but important steps toward real solutions in case of any problem. This positive spirit of enthusiasm and collaboration has a better chance to prevail in a mentally and physically healthy community. If you are stuck in the slavery of some bad habits, touching rock bottom with loneliness and dissatisfaction, then probably you have else to think about before heading outside your house door asking for a better environment! all kinds of addiction in general dramatically deteriorate the quality of life. According to a study made by the university of Michigan in 2016, the percent of student reporting any illicit drug use is decreasing. Same for tobacco, and alcohol to a lesser extent. On the other hand, the NIH statistics still show more than two-thirds (68.8 percent) of adults are considered to be overweight or obese. Food addiction seems of a very serious problem globally that is thought to be even tougher to break than drug due to availability of food and lack of awareness on the topic. It is well diffused at schools communities especially between girls even though there’s actually an emerging number of boys. But let’s face it: women have always struggled particularly with addictions at all aspects. Maybe because of our hormones starting with menstrual cycle till menopause or when getting pregnant and breastfeeding….maybe because other than feeling sufficiently guilty about our addiction, we are furtherly challenged by being responsible for putting at risk our children’s health in both the short and long term. Maybe because on international level, we are more victims of domestic violence and when divorce is a solution we might not be sufficiently entitled by laws and threatened to lose child custody. Maybe because when we are 24-hour worker as mothers and miss lot of career years by deciding to be good ones, the world still doesn’t consider us as working women and won’t recognise us on financial level! maybe because we are more likely to have panic attacks, anxiety and depression? All the above are just presumptions as no judgmental nor legal talk about to happen here more than ideas thrown for our reflections on why women focus is crucial when talking about all addictions and especially food addiction on continuous rise.
Last but not least, I mentioned to president Carrie the importance of raising awareness about food addiction as per our clinic practice, big improvement on the quality of life including weight parameter and high patients’ compliance rates were registered when awareness and good preparation in overcoming and preventing inappropriate behaviour toward food (including overeating/ binging/ restriction on eating, etc.) were made.

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