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  • Consumers are being encouraged to pay keen attention to the ingredients panel and the nutritional facts label when making food purchases, by Clinical Nutritionist, Caribbean Institute for Health Research, University of the West Indies, Dr. Suzanne Soares-Wynter.
  • “You want to compare items before you make a choice, so look at your labels if you are comparing which brand to buy. Pay attention to the serving size, look at the total calories per serving, how much sugar is in it and look at any health claims. Check the expiration date and any other safety issue,” she implored.
  • In the meantime, the Clinical Nutritionist emphasised that greater individual care needs to be taken regarding the health status of Jamaicans, adding that “we are not really in a good position as we think we are in relation to our health”.

Consumers are being encouraged to pay keen attention to the ingredients panel and the nutritional facts label when making food purchases, by Clinical Nutritionist, Caribbean Institute for Health Research, University of the West Indies, Dr. Suzanne Soares-Wynter.

Speaking at the launch of Heart Month at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on January 23, Dr. Soares-Wynter said the nutritional facts label and the ingredients panel will assist Jamaicans in making healthier eating choices as they deal with portion size, calories, saturated fats, fibre, protein, added sugar, protein, sodium, among others.

“You want to compare items before you make a choice, so look at your labels if you are comparing which brand to buy. Pay attention to the serving size, look at the total calories per serving, how much sugar is in it and look at any health claims. Check the expiration date and any other safety issue,” she implored.

Dr. Soares-Wynter said regardless of the information on the package, persons should use nutritional facts to assist them in making purchases.

In the meantime, the Clinical Nutritionist emphasised that greater individual care needs to be taken regarding the health status of Jamaicans, adding that “we are not really in a good position as we think we are in relation to our health”.

“If you look around and check the recent statistics, nearly one in two persons is overweight and every fourth person is obese. We are very inactive, as less than one per cent is actually even accomplishing what we should be doing on a regular basis, and that’s just regular physical activity for at least half an hour,” she said.

Heart Month, which is celebrated in February, aims to increase awareness of heart disease in Jamaica. The activities for the month are being coordinated by the Heart Foundation of Jamaica and include a medical symposium on February 27, CPR day on February 24, screening at several health centres and outdoor broadcasts.

Cardiovascular (heart) disease (CVD) is the world’s leading cause of deaths from non-communicable diseases. According to the World Heart Federation (WHF), each year, CVD is responsible for 31 per cent or 17.5 million of premature deaths.

The Month will be observed under the theme ‘Healthy Nutrition: Know Your Labels’.

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