Health fair opens some eyes at Baumholder
BAUMHOLDER, Germany — It was billed as Baumholder’s first Women’s Health Fair.
But this week’s event at Baumholder’s medical clinic could have just as easily been called “Days of Discovery.” Finding out you’re fat has never been so entertaining.
Hold the body fat analyzer with arms extended and palms over the little silver sensors of the two-handled instrument. Select your height, weight, age and sex and the gadget reveals how much of your body is composed of fat, as well as whether your fat ratio is good, normal or bad.
“The women all go ‘ahhh!’ but they do it,” said Cathy Douglas, health provider coordinator for U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder. Douglas’ fat detector, as well as displays on fat and sugar content of foods, drew steady amazement.
Women coming into the community are often overwhelmed, said Donna Mundt, a clinical nurse at Baumholder’s clinic. So the health fair was a chance to reach those who may not be familiar with all the medical services to evaluate their health needs and what’s available, Mundt said.
“We want to empower people to take care of themselves.”
A lot was available at the fair, from flu shots and family planning appointments for Baumholder-based women to drawings for free massages, veggie snacks to free prophylactics, Mundt said. There were booths on seemingly every topic, from depression and occupational health issues to exercises and hormone replacement therapy.
Some were fun, some were kind of eye-opening, attendees said.
Carie Hockman, a teacher at Smith Elementary School who is pregnant and an asthma sufferer, said that until she stopped at Jamie MacKenzie’s booth she didn’t know how many chemicals, such as institutional cleaners, can be potential hazards.
Even health-care workers don’t realize that some of the chemicals they work with, such as anesthetic gases, can pose problems during pregnancy, said MacKenzie, who was handing out materials on reproductive hazards for the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine.
The mysteries didn’t stop with exotic drugs and solvents. The big question was, “What’s in that bag of potato chips?” A big ol’ test tube of goo, Douglas said, holding up a display of food fat and sugar content.
And in that cola? Two full test tubes of sugar, she said, to gasps from an onlooker.
“Somehow people get to be our age and don’t know how much sugar is in a cola!” Douglas said.