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Story Highlights

  • Minister Neita Headley, is urging athletes to exercise caution when taking dietary supplements.
  • The Sport Minister reminded athletes that they bear the ultimate responsibility for what they put into their bodies.
  • The Wellness 360 web application (app), which will give Jamaicans a medium through which they can monitor health parameters.

Minister with responsibility for Sport, Hon. Natalie Neita Headley, is urging athletes to exercise caution when taking dietary supplements, noting that some of these substances can compromise their chances of competing in their respective disciplines.

“We implore all our athletes, the coaches, the administrators and the managers of them, that the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) is really telling you that supplements are not regulated. The suppliers and the manufacturers of the supplements, they make them to make money, they are not necessarily effective either,” she said.

Ms. Neita Headley was speaking on Friday, January 3, at the official launch of the ‘Joie De Vie’ Wellness Festival at the National Housing Trust’s (NHT) Overtime Lounge in Kingston.

The Sport Minister reminded athletes that they bear the ultimate responsibility for what they put into their bodies. She said that using natural products remains the safest and best way to boost their performance and outcomes.

“I don’t think they (supplements) are any more effective than our cornmeal porridge or our arrowroot or beetroot for that matter and certainly, what you are getting from those supplements, you can get from your food if you are eating the right way,” Mrs. Neita Headley argued.

During the function, co-organizer of the wellness festival, Dr. Ijah Thompson showcased the Wellness 360 web application (app), which will give Jamaicans a medium through which they can monitor health parameters such as blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol.

He noted that it will provide insight into ways to prevent or delay the development of major diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart attack and stroke. He added that the app will also offer various reward mechanisms that will be useful for corporate groups and other entities. There is also a recognition system that will be redeemable overtime for rewards and gifts in the real world.

Mrs. Neita Headley said the app will also be useful to the sporting fraternity. “Oftentimes, when a youngster is found with an adverse finding, that substance is not even made in Jamaica. He is a schoolboy and he can’t access it unless somebody gives it to him…and so it is important that all the persons, who form a part of the athlete’s base understand, and this web application will provide additional information that is going to be essential,” she stated.

The ‘Joie De Vie’ Wellness Festival is scheduled for February 1-2 at Fort Clarence Beach in St. Catherine.

The event will include wellness exhibits and talks, as well as sporting events such as: beach volleyball and football; military style obstacle course; five and 10k run/walk; 10 and 15k cyclethon; and a swim challenge. These will be followed by a sweat beach party.

Persons interested in participating are being asked to register in teams of 10 at www.wellfestja.com