Fighting the NCD epidemic in Barbados

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Two civil society organizations, are arming Barbadians with the knowledge to fight against the non-communicable disease (NCD) epidemic in Barbados.

The School’s Against Non-Communicable Diseases and Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles partnered to host the two-day health and wellness event Eating Healthy, Moving More.

Patrons at Queen’s Park were offered health services and information from the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Diabetes Association Of Barbados. There was a variety of natural products being offered as well as healthy food products.

Coordinator Gillian Hazlewood told Barbados TODAY that the two non governmental organizations decided to collaborate because they were alarmed at the high incidence of NCDs in Barbados, especially with the island ranking within the top 10 unhealthiest countries.

“Barbados is very commercialized now and there are a lot of fast foods. Everybody is living a faster lifestyle, everybody wants everything fast but I want people to know that eating clean and eating healthy is actually fast and it’s very doable,” Hazlewood remarked.

“We are known as the amputee capital of the world and that is not a good stigma to have,” she added.

Hazlewood said the organization sought to effect change by targeting the youth especially through workshops and health seminars. She revealed that seven primary and secondary schools participated in the Eating Healthy Moving More initiative on its open day on Friday where they were also introduced to sports such as road tennis, table tennis, cricket and more.

“A lot of the children they go home and they sit down in front of their computers or tablets and they are getting overweight. You can see the difference to about 10 years ago,” said Hazlewood

“You have to explain to the kids what certain foods do to their systems and do to their bodies so they can understand then and they would be able to make a better informed decision.

If you just ban it, it is like ‘yeah we can’t have it at school, for whatever reason it is not allowed’ but when you go on the road and you have freedom of will you’re still buying what you want but if you know the effects of processed foods, added sugars and added fats, and all these packaged items then you will say ‘hey let me think about this before I go ahead and still continue to eat it’ because I know what it will do to my body going forward,” she suggested. (KK)

The post Fighting the NCD epidemic in Barbados appeared first on Barbados Today.

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