A research conducted in four Caribbean countries has found that 30 per cent of children ages 11 through 13 were overweight or obese according to a senior official of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Dr. Audrey Morris, PAHO’s Food and Nutrition Advisor stated that a policy document will be refined and reviewed on Nutritious and Healthy Foods.
Dr. Morris, pointed out that the overweight and obesity that is grasping the region’s children is a matter that should be taken seriously. She noted that many are in danger of suffering from breathing difficulties, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and psychological effects.
She highlighted that schools share some of the blame, noting that their canteens provide sodium rich and fatty foods as well as carbonated beverages. Dr. Morris elaborated stating that students were allowed to opt out of Psychical Education classes, particularly when preparing for exams. In addition, she noted that the home was also a culprit allowing children to spend excessive hours watching tv and playing computer games.
Dr. Morris revealed that the United States of America has placed limits on sugar, fat and sodium in all foods sold on the compound. Additionally, Panama has banned fried foods and surge soda for sale in school premises. “The Caribbean needs a multi-faceted, multi-sectoral approach to reinforce the message of healthier eating and active living.” she said in concluding her speech.