Friday, June 22, 2012 – With the marked increase in non-communicable diseases, Saint Lucians are constantly being encouraged to eat right, however the Ministry of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations is currently preparing to take the awareness to another notch with the launch of the Food Based Dietary Guidelines for Saint Lucia scheduled for Friday, July 6th.
Chief Nutritionist within the Ministry of Health Lisa Hunt Mitchel says a recent workshop with key sections of the public including health workers proved to be very successful.
“A two day workshop was held at the Pastoral Centre on June 19th to 20th with different stakeholders including persons from the health team, such as medical doctors, nurses, community health aides, nutrition officers and students. The participants of the workshop also included stakeholders from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture, the Victoria Hospital and St. Jude Hospital.”
Food-Based Dietary Guidelines from different countries contain similar broad messages based on principles of nutrition science. National dietary guidelines often contain unique features which were designed by national experts to address the priorities of each country. The chief nutritionist says the guidelines were tailored especially for Saint Lucia.
“The 8 dietary food based guidelines include the following: always try to eat ground provisions, peas and beans with your meals everyday, eat more vegetables and fruits every day. Buy less fatty and greasy foods and when you cook use less fat and oils, salted foods, packaged seasoning and salty snacks. Choose less beverages and foods preserved or prepared with added sugar. If you drink alcohol do so in moderation. Drink water several times a day. Make physical activity part of your daily life.”
The launch of the Food Based Dietary Guidelines for Saint Lucia will include a robust public education campaign.