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obesity

fast food have replaced staple foods.

nutrionist

an obese person

…..hikes her swollen ankeles atop a table. … she isnt pregnant. She’s obese…

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Zordella Mullings

Ministry of Health to unleash major campaign against obesity in 2011

By Matt Maura Bahamas Information Services

NASSAU, The Bahamas—Public Health officials from the Ministry of Health and the Department of Public Health are expected to launch a major campaign against obesity early this year, aimed at winning the”Battle of the Bulge”among Bahamians. The programme will be launched under the auspices of the National Chronic Disease Prescription Drug Plan, which is administered by the National Insurance Board. It will be an expansion of some of the work already begun by the Healthy Lifestyles Secretariat of the Ministry of Health and the Department of Public Health, which was geared toward education and awareness and is part of a far-reaching plan to reverse the increasing incidences of chronic, non-communicable diseases currently negatively impacting Bahamians; grant greater access to primary healthcare facilities for Bahamians everywhere and promote preventative medicine ahead of curative medicine. Obesity and its complications, including chronic, non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension, have become a major cause of concern for healthcare officials as one of out every 10 Bahamians or 70 per cent are either obese and/or overweight, according to most recent statistics. Chronic, non-communicable diseases and their attending complications account for 60 per cent of the deaths in The Bahamas. Health officials say the dollar cost could be in the billions of dollars in terms of treatment, follow-up care, loss of jobs and therefore incomes and decreased productivity. Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis said the”War on Obesity”campaign has been designed to make Bahamians aware of the risk and dangers obesity and being overweight can present to individuals, companies, families, finances, the country’s healthcare system and the country itself if left unchecked. He said the programme, initiated under the Preventative Strategies section of the National Chronic Diseases Prescription Drug Plan, will focus in greater detail on healthy lifestyles, including health lifestyle choices, healthy eating, healthy food preparation and the benefits of diet and exercise. The National Chronic Disease Prescription Drug Plan was implemented in the summer of 2010.”The types of foods Bahamians eat; the way they prepare those foods, the large amounts they eat, and a lack of exercise are all major contributors to Bahamians being obese and/or overweight,”Dr. Minnis said.”While we understand that there are some healthy foods that are expensive, Bahamians can still make healthy changes to their diets by finding alternative foods to eat, finding alternative ways to prepare those foods, eating at practical timeframes and by reducing the portions they eat.”Those changes, when incorporated with exercise, can have a profound impact on healthy lifestyles,”Dr. Minnis added. The Health Minister said late-night eating a habit of many Bahamians-is particularly not good.”A lot of persons, especially professional persons, tend to have bad eating habits in that they arrive home late at night, eat late and then subsequently go to bed right after they are finished eating. That is not good at all and only adds to the problem,”Dr. Minnis added. The Health Minister said incorporating exercise into one’s daily or weekly regimen will pay tremendous dividends. He encouraged individuals and families to take advantage of the green spaces created throughout New Providence and the Family Islands to launch exercise programmes.”Those persons who cannot afford to pay gym fees can find alternative, green spaces in which they can exercise,”Dr. Minnis said.”If you look at the facilities at Goodman’s Bay, RM Bailey Park, Fort Charlotte and many others, for example, you would see those are spaces that are highly utilised by Bahamians.”The new highway just constructed between Thompson Boulevard and West Bay Street is another example of green space that can be utilised to exercise. There are safe walking spaces there; police patrols pass on a regular basis and it is well lit. The open environment is a great alternative if one cannot afford going to a gym.”I also encourage parents to get their children involved in exercise and sporting activities, as being active and away from the television for extended periods of time can also positively impact the lifestyles of our children,”Dr. Minnis added.

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