Thursday, April 18, 2024

Bajans eating their way to the grave

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Barbadians are eating themselves to death. Representative to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean States with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Lystra Fletcher-Paul, said if this trend continued, Barbadians would live for shorter periods and experience more health challenges.

Speaking to an audience at Queen’s Park Steel Shed on Friday, Fletcher-Paul, the featured speaker of a lunchtime lecture entitled Eat What You Grow, said overnutrition was a serious issue in Barbados, especially among women.

“We at the FAO have been sending the message about the high food import bill and its link to obesity and non-communicable diseases such as stroke, hypertension, diabetes and some forms of cancer for the last five years,” she said.

“Eighty-seven per cent of the food you consume is imported and the majority of it is high in processed carbohydrates, fats, sugar and salt.

“Starkly put, we are eating ourselves to death.”

The FAO representative said people used excuses like convenience and inexpensive prices to consume unhealthy foods.

She said food safety was another area of concern as contaminants such as pesticides and bacteria affected the quality of food. She pointed to recent incidents where eggs were recalled in the United Kingdom because of salmonella.

Fletcher-Paul said that if Barbadians wanted to live long and healthy lives they must consider reverting to the practices of yesteryear, such as eating what they grew. (SB)

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