Thursday, April 25, 2024

New campaign to tackle childhood obesity

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The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados has launched a new health campaign today to address the childhood obesity crisis on the island.

The campaign is called “Out of Schools” and focuses on ridding schools of unhealthy foods and beverages. It will run for six weeks on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.

Speaking at the launch at Cave Hill School of Business in Wanstead, St Michael, Communications Officer for Childhood Obesity Prevention of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados, Stacia Browne said that the eating habits of children in Barbados were causing them to be obese.

She said the campaign aimed to persuade policymakers to implement policies that would restrict the sales of unhealthy foods in schools and promote the healthy well-being of children.

Minister of Health and Wellness Ian Gooding Edghill, who was a special guest at the event, said there had been a “tidal wave of NCDs (non-communicable diseases) every day” and encouraged Barbadians to take control of their health.

“Over the past few decades, we have witnessed healthy habits dwindling and replaced by habits of convenience and necessity. Understanding, preventing and treating NCDs is therefore not just a matter for the government, but also requires individual responsibility and action from others,” he added.

He said Barbadian’s cooperation was just as important as government’s initiatives if the economy was to grow and succeed.

“Maintaining good nutrition during pregnancy, childhood and adolescence is key to ensuring optimal growth and well-being. A healthy diet and practices can help prevent diseases through life and across generations. Good nutrition also drives economic prosperity as a strong and housing workforce is the engine of development. This is why we support policies that build on healthy eating habits so as to ensure a healthy and brighter future for our children,” he noted.

PAHO representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Dr Amalio Del Riego and executive director of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition Maisha Hutton also spoke at the launch about the need for policies to reduce the number of children suffering from obesity and non-communicable diseases. They thanked the Heart and Stroke Foundation for spearheading the campaign. (RT)

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