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Health ministry places spotlight on healthy lifestyles for children

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Contact:  Adhara King


Thursday 15 September 2011 The William Peter Boulevard was recently converted to a community university where the public got an opportunity to learn everything about healthy living.


The 4th annual observation of Caribbean Wellness Day saw a collaboration of various partners, including government ministries and private sector companies.


The spotlight was placed on Chronic Non Communicable Diseases, also referred to as lifestyle diseases.


Dietician at the Victoria Hospital, Fadia Campbell, paid special attention to curbing these lifestyle problems from their origin—during childhood.


 “Lifestyles and behaviours are established early in life, thus a focus on healthy behaviours is vital to promoting healthy weight management in children. The primary goals of overcoming childhood obesity should be healthy eating and increased physical activity.”


Children should consume enough calories to support normal growth and development, Campbell says, without promoting excessive weight gain.


“The home, day-care setting, school and community are all vital to a healthy environment for our children. By developing healthy eating habits, looking for ways to make favourite dishes healthier, and reducing caloric- rich temptations, you can help your child to be aware of what he or she eats.”


The dietician offered a few tips for families who may not recognize the impact of daily decisions.

Parents should choose healthy snacks, Campbell says, have meals as a family, avoid convenience and fast foods, and take special care not to use food as a reward or punishment.

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