Thursday 9 July, 2020

Health ministry extremely worried about childhood obesity in St Lucia

Health Minister Senator Mary Isaac has expressed tremendous concern as it relates to obesity in Saint Lucia, which she says is extremely worrying to the local health officials.

Obesity is an abnormal accumulation of body fat, usually 20% above the normal ideal body weight. It can have an adverse effect on an individual’s health.

Senator Isaac says not only has obesity been deemed a serious problem for the island; childhood obesity is an even greater issue.

In an effort to curtail the issue, she says the Ministry has taken steps in reducing high numbers of obesity, especially among children.

“We are looking at reducing the content of sugar and salt in our diet and I know there is an education program they putting in place to look at that.”

Senator Isaac says government is also considering legislation to ensure that the general public complies.

“There are a lot of countries right now they have standards in terms of how much sugar you put in foods and how much salt and that kind of thing, so we are moving in that direction.”

The ministry she noted has been attending quite a number of workshops and training programs to address obesity.

“We know that sometimes when we try to put things in place people complain we are interfering with people’s livelihoods. For instance, when you look at the schools and the types of activity going on around the schools, you see a lot of vendors selling the chips and all the unhealthy foods to the children.

Francis says these are the things that must be addressed.

Childhood obesity is an emerging crisis globally.

In the Caribbean at least 1 in 3 children are overweight or obese.

Obesity has threatened to undermine the health of entire generations if bold policy and legislative actions are not taken now to create environments supportive of healthier, happier children and adolescents.

It is a chronic disorder and was officially classified as a disease.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: