Monday, August 06, 2012 – Saint Lucia’s Minister for Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relation Honourable Alvina Reynolds says she is very concerned about child obesity in Saint Lucia.
As such the Minister is advocating re-educating the population particularly parents on issues of proper nutrition and diet.
Speaking during the weekly programme “Inside Government on RSL 97”, Minister Reynolds disclosed there is need to dispel the misconception that being fat or overweight and slim does not necessarily translate to being healthy.
“I am very impressed by the work that is being and continues to be done by our primary healthcare workers like our nurses at institutions island wide who are constantly communicating with parents and educating them about the weight of children, children often come in to health facilities to be weighed and their age is looked at versus their weight and parents are given advice as to whether a child is overweight and what weight the child should be, however there are some parents who ignore the advice of the professionals and so you find children who are obese”.
She says her Ministry will continue to collaborate with the Ministries of Education, Agriculture, Youth Development and Sports to give children the avenue to eat healthy. “We have to collaborate and work within the communities and school system to empower teachers.
There is a Health and Family Life programme being delivered at all levels at our schools and we have to revisit that programme and see how we can give our child the necessary information and skill so they can make the right decisions about what they eat because as we all know and we see it all the time at the supermarkets where children are busy picking what it is they want to eat from the shelves so when we begin to empower them then they can go home and tell their parents what they have seen and heard and we can begin to see this change”.
The recently launched Food Based Dietary Guidelines programme for Saint Lucia will place particular focus on empowering children to eat healthy.
This programme is being implemented with support from the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute.