7.093 Budae Jjigae


7 (Thu) April 2016

Budae Jjigae


at Chung Ki Wa

-Malate, Manila-

with RK and JL

April 7 — the day on which WHO was founded in 1948 — is World Health Day, every year highlighting a different theme.

Commemorating the day at the Regional Office, with invited members of the diplomatic corps and other dignitaries.
“Get in the Circle” comprises 4 quadrants : Get Moving, Check Your Blood Glucose, Protect Yourself and Your Family…
… and Eat Healthy — the over-consumption of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods and non-alcoholic beverages being a prime risk factor for noncommunicable disease, such as diabetes.
Though personally a fan of raw vegetables (not fruit, in any form), I’ve always felt that this kind of display seems to send the wrong message to those who need convincing — “healthy” = “boring.”

This year, the theme is Together on the Front Lines Against Diabetes.

The theme last year was food safety.

While the theme two years ago was vector-borne diseases, we did by coincidence convene the Consultation on Overweight, Obesity, Diabetes & Law just two days later (see generally 5.094 Not What I’d Ordered) (the event that had brought me into the Organization).

Whereas the food served at our receptions tend to be kinda junky, even for meetings hosted by the division responsible for healthy living (see for example 6.224 NCD Risk Factors), a conscious effort was made today to offer only wholesome items, like fresh fruits…
… fresh vegetable sticks …
… deep-fried fish fingers with tartare sauce.

The overall campaign, which featured country-level activities, as well as our celebration at the Regional Office, had been orchestrated by the NCD unit.

At the end of the day, I bought dinner for RK and JL at Chung Ki Wa (see most recently 6.322 Godeung-Eo Gui).

Without thinking, we ordered the budae jjigae (see most recently 6.166 Budae Jjigae).

A few minutes into the meal, I was suddenly struck by the apparent impropriety, irony, and hypocrisy of us — health professionals, specializing in the prevention of noncommunicable disease, technical officers at the planet’s leading health agency, having developed then launched a campaign against diabetes — RK, de facto leader of the organizing team; JL, who’d helped to design the communications; and I, who’d helped to draft the Call to Action — now congratulating ourselves for the achievement, on the occasion of the year’s biggest health event — gorging on perhaps the most energy-dense, nutrient-poor dishes in Korean cuisine.   Just goes to show how easy it is to break bad.

When “bad” = “good.”

RK informed us that the team had eaten Burger King for lunch — the indiscretionary nature of which hadn’t occurred to him at the time, right smack in the midst of World Health Day.

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