Ministry coalition launches initiative to tackle childhood obesity

By Earyel Bowleg


THE Ministry of Health’s Healthy Bahamas Coalition launched their Let's Move Initiative: Reducing Childhood Obesity project at Stephen Dillet Primary School on Friday.

Students in grades 4-6 got a lesson in nutrition from health education officers from the ministry of health’s health education division. The benefits of a healthy diet as well as the negative impact of unhealthy eating was discussed along with nutritional value of certain fruits and vegetables. Afterwards, students marched straight to Windsor Park to do a series of physical activities such as speed walking and jumping rope.

The coalition is not only fighting obesity but ensuring children’s rights to access clean water, nutritious food and clean environments for recreating to do physical activity and reduce risk factors for developing non-communicable diseases.

Administrator at the Healthy Bahamas Coalition Marcia Munnings said: “This is important because we notice from our school surveys that non-communicable (diseases) was increasing among our children at higher rates. That our children were now developing adult diseases and so we wanted to reduce the risk,” she said.

Ms Munnings said partners of the initiative include the Urban Renewal Centre of the Police, the Ministry of Education, the Pan American Health Organization, and AML Foods Limited.

According to the 2013 Global School Based Health Survey, six in 10 children between the ages of 13-15 in The Bahamas were overweight or obese. The survey also revealed that 84 percent of children did not get enough exercise and only 16.6 percent usually ate fruits and vegetables five or more times a day.

The Ministry of Health, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, announced this week the launch of a pilot programme in an aid to encourage healthier eating habits among young people. The 100% SMART Fruits for Kids initiative will focus on the students and faculty members of Centreville Primary School where they will be provided fruit twice a week.


bahamianson 3 years, 8 months ago

seriously? Wow, this is incredible. So, we have a nutritional lesson for grades 4-6, I hope those kids renewed their driver's licences . makes no sense to educate the children and not the parents whom purchase the food. the government needs to educate the parents. The minute the child goes home and asks for an apple, the parent will tell the child to stop talking foolishness. This is a no brainer, Ms. Munnings. Secondly, It is total common sense to realize that children will develop adult diseases like heart problems , Diabetes, and high cholesterol . Our children are not exercising, they are immobile at a computer all day, have easier access to fast foods at every corner, and no where to exercise and play safely. Total no-brainer. Programs like JBLN and the local soccer camps provide a safe environment for our kids.


bogart 3 years, 8 months ago

2013 Global School Based Health Survey in the Bahamas. Well six in ten children between ages of 13 and 15 were overweight or obese. Only16.6 percent usually ate fruits and vegetables more thsn five or more times a day. 84 percent children did not get not get enoigh exercise

The school Stephen Dillet located on the Constituency line Centreville Constituency snd the Bain and Grants Constituemcy with the Ministry of Health with both FNM Member of Parliament Representatives who lost jobs standing up against govt, and one even quitting the Party now have schools with health programs initiated.

This good program seems a bit off in having these youths, children in this poverty stricken area listed as OBESE and ONLY 16.6 PERCENT EATING MORE THAN FIVE OR MORE MEALS WITH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES A DAY. Further, wid 84 percent did not getting dailt exercise dey officials shouldda note that most students in these densely populated poverty challenged areas usually gets up early have to prepare themselves, in usually single family home, have to tote water from the street pipe water stand, gets exercise daily have to walk to school.

Any idea on in whose Constituency the next program will be????


bogart 3 years, 8 months ago

... above Instead of "single family home" should be "single parent home"


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