Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, has urged persons to avoid foods that have been identified as leading contributors to certain chronic health problems.
The Minister made the call at a World Food Day ceremony and exhibition, held at the Garvey Maceo High School, in Clarendon, on October 16.
“Foods should be viewed from the standpoint of nutritional value. It is not how much we eat that is really the issue, it is what we eat that is more important. And I would want to see the discussions on foods and eating in this country elevated,” he said. “Jamaica is above average on a global scale when it comes to certain forms of cancers, certain forms of heart related ailments, and most of those ailments can be traced right back to our consumptions habits. We consume too much sugar in our food, and if you look at countries that have regulated through their food security policy, not just how much you eat, but what you eat, and you link that to healthy living, longevity, healthy lifestyles, you would have to conclude that what we consume have a significant bearing on how we live our lives,” the Minister pointed out.
He encouraged the gathering to help promote healthy eating, and stressed that a serious look must be taken at some items sold in schools, as they contribute to children developing unhealthy eating habits.
Teachers of the Food and Nutrition Department of Garvey Maceo High School, in Clarendon, display some traditional items and natural foods, at a World Food Day Exhibition at the institution, on October 16.
“The time has come to disallow certain items sold in the school system. Once the young child starts to consume, and starts to develop a consumption habit and pattern to eat a lot of sweets, or items that are heavy in sugar content, they grow up into adults and do the same thing, resulting in health problems that lead to tremendous cost,” the Minister noted.