Dr. Joy St. John and other health officials viewing the exhibits of students after the closing ceremony for participants of the National Nutrition Centre’s Summer Camp at Lester Vaughan School, Cane Garden, St. Thomas on August 28.

The burden of nutrition related diseases has become a public health crisis in Barbados.

That is according to Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joy St. John, who was addressing the closing ceremony of the Nutrition Summer Camp, last evening at Lester Vaughan School.  She said: “The changes over the years in the food choices of individuals affect not only the lifestyle and well-being of Barbadian households but also have implications for the society that extend far beyond the dinner table.”

Dr. St. John stressed that “the transition from under-nutrition in preschool to the alarming present day occurrence of obesity and chronic non communicable diseases has clear and profound implications for the planning and execution of health and nutrition programmes”.

Some of the students who participated in the National Nutrition Centre’s Summer Camp at the closing ceremony at
Lester Vaughan School, Cane Garden, St. Thomas, on August 28.

Explaining that the focus of health and nutrition had shifted towards combating obesity, she said this was “one of the common risk factors in the rapidly increasing chronic non-communicable diseases, which are causing so many premature and unnecessary deaths”.

Stating that “research shows that food and nutrition play a major role in causing chronic non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke and some forms of cancer, she said there was a growing and urgent need for everyone to appreciate the integral relationships among factors involving good health, nutrition and development.

“I say this to emphasise the fact that nutrition is no longer the exclusive right of nutritionists and dieticians or any select group of decision makers,” she added.

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