Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, lends an ear to Special Envoy for CNCDs, Dr. Trevor Hassell, at the national consultation. Also pictured are Minister of Health, Donville Inniss (left) and PAHO/WHO Representative in Barbados, Dr. Ernest Pate.
(A. Miller/BGIS)

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is calling on employees to get all the information they can about the benefits of adopting healthier lifestyles and to put that knowledge into practice.

He made this appeal recently while addressing a National Consultation in preparation for the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), slated for September 18 and 19, in New York.?? It was held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Underscoring the importance of exercise, Mr. Stuart mentioned the work of the National Task Force on Physical Activity and Exercise, which has received tremendous response from the public, as an indication of the island’s national mass participation culture.

"Let us carry this interest forward in all of our neighbourhoods and communities where people can get together for exercise and physical recreation.?? We can walk the beach or on one of the boardwalks, swim or hike to interesting spots and explore our country.?? Further, we can get the rust off our bicycles and go riding again," he emphasised.????

Mr. Stuart also implored fast food establishments to include healthier food options as a means of preserving the health of Barbadians. "It may be easier to buy fast food than to prepare a meal at home.?? Why should this be so??? We need to look for ways to make healthy food accessible, available and affordable.?? Since fast food is not going anywhere, I call on the fast food industry to make healthier options available.?? Examine ways to reduce the amount of salt, sugar and fat in foods, which should be labeled clearly so that consumers can make better choices," he urged.

The Prime Minister conceded that despite the many initiatives already taking place, a coordinated effort was needed to tackling NCDs, especially in bringing about changes to food preference and physical activity.

"A whole-of-society approach places emphasis on the social, cultural, political, environmental and economic conditions and structures that affect the lives of individuals and communities and, by extension, how business and government policies impact on health, as well as on schools, workplaces and communities.?? Attention is also placed on the factors that can affect the health status of people while they live, learn, work or live in those settings," Mr. Stuart surmised.


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