JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Consumer Affairs Commission’s (CAC) year-long campaign aimed at heightening awareness of the importance of eating healthy and promoting a healthy lifestyle is receiving strong support from the country’s leaders.
  • Communications Specialist at the CAC, Dorothy Campbell, said the initiative under the theme: ‘Healthy Diets: Eating Right When Money Tight’ has been endorsed by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller.
  • The public awareness initiative will examine policies and programmes to promote healthy diets, and will seek to encourage consumers to make the switch from unhealthy choices to healthier foods for their families.

The Consumer Affairs Commission’s (CAC) year-long campaign aimed at heightening awareness of the importance of eating healthy and promoting a healthy lifestyle is receiving strong support from the country’s leaders.

Communications Specialist at the CAC, Dorothy Campbell, said the initiative under the theme: ‘Healthy Diets: Eating Right When Money Tight’ has been endorsed by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller; Ministers of Government; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Michael Peart; and other Members of Parliament, including Leader of the Opposition, Andrew  Holness.

The public awareness initiative will examine policies and programmes to promote healthy diets, and will seek to encourage consumers to make the switch from unhealthy choices to healthier foods for their families.

It is being executed with support from Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, particularly the Ministries of Health, Education and Agriculture.

Miss Campbell, in noting the importance of the initiative, said it will save the country billions, while promoting healthy nutrition choices.

“Healthy diets promote good health…unhealthy diets, on the other hand, are the cause for the $13.8 billion that the country is currently spending for the treatment of non-communicable diseases (NCDs),” she argued.

“When you choose foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar, you end up with long-term illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, which means that the Government and families end up with a large bill that they have to continue to budget for, for the rest of their lives,” she lamented.

Miss Campbell said that the CAC will be working with the Heart Foundation of Jamaica and the National Health Fund (NHF) to undertake speaking engagements and community outreach activities as part of the programme.

“We are also collaborating with the Bureau of Standards Jamaica in order to advocate and promote the idea of proper labelling and for consumers to be encouraged to read labels and understand what it is that they consume and the amounts…so we will be seeking the expertise of many agencies, dietitians and other experts,” she noted.

She pointed out further that Jamaica is embracing the Global Food Treaty that not only promotes the idea of access and quality in terms of food, “but also encourages policy initiatives, many of which the Jamaican Government has embarked on, such as the agro-parks programme, to increase production, access and availability of reasonably priced foods.”

“So, we want to touch on various points of the initiative… to give consumers practical ideas on how they can exchange unhealthy items that are cheap and are being consumed excessively, for healthier items that are reasonable and can be prepared by their families.

“We are reaching out at the policy level, the advocacy level, and inside your homes at the dinner table to help consumers to understand why we need a change in behaviour, and why we need to make healthier choices for our families,” Miss Campbell said.