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  • Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the Government will continue to work with agencies, such as the Jamaica Association of Professionals in Nutrition and Dietetics (JAPINAD), to implement programmes to tackle unhealthy eating in the countr
  • The Minister said dialogue will continue with food industry stakeholders to address the matter of labelling that will provide important information, such as caloric value, portion sizes and nutritional value that will help consumers to make informed choices.
  • Obesity risk in Jamaica is high on the global scale, with weight gain per year being four times higher than that of Americans and Nigerians, the Minister noted.

Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the Government will continue to work with agencies, such as the Jamaica Association of Professionals in Nutrition and Dietetics (JAPINAD), to implement programmes to tackle unhealthy eating in the country.

He pointed out that some partnerships had already begun, citing the collaboration between his Ministry and the Ministry of Education on the Health Enhancement Committee which addresses the school-feeding programme.

The Ministry is also working closely with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries on the National Food and Nutrition Security Policy, the Minister added.

Dr. Tufton was speaking at the recent launch of the JAPINAD/Ministry of Health Supervised Practice Programme (SPP).

According to the Minister, the policy not only addresses the availability and access to food, but the increasing prevalence of nutritionally poor diets that contribute to obesity.

The Minister said dialogue will continue with food industry stakeholders to address the matter of labelling that will provide important information, such as caloric value, portion sizes and nutritional value that will help consumers to make informed choices.

This, he said, will be coupled with a public-education campaign on the ministry’s dietary guidelines, which will guide citizens in creating proper and balanced meals to improve overall health.

Obesity risk in Jamaica is high on the global scale, with weight gain per year being four times higher than that of Americans and Nigerians, the Minister noted.

In a study done by Durazo-Arvizu at Chicago’s Loyola University in 2008, obesity prevalence in the United States, Nigeria and Jamaica was analysed.

According to the Minister, the study concluded that obesity poses a serious threat to the nation’s health and economy and that unless effective prevention and control measures are taken, the society will bear high direct costs, including that for treatment, and indirect costs associated with the loss of productivity.

He informed that the study showed that 97 per cent of obese persons were not on a weight-management diet.

The Minister said the SPP will assist in addressing the need to improve the level of weight management in the country.