The National Nutrition Centre is in the process of distributing a booklet on Food-based Dietary Guidelines for Barbados.

This was announced recently by Nutrition Officer, Dianne Broome.?? She said the booklet was intended to encourage healthy eating habits and promote active lifestyles in an effort to prevent chronic nutrition-related diseases and problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease which are all leading causes of death and illness in Barbados.

Ms. Broome stated that the guidelines were in demand, with a number of community groups, government departments, Non-Governmental Organisations and tertiary institutions requesting copies of the booklets. She explained that some 30,000 booklets were distributed in the first instance and another 30,000 have been published.

The booklet encourages Barbadians to follow eight food-based dietary guidelines on a daily basis: enjoy a variety of foods; eat large quantities of fruits and vegetables; use high-fibre foods; eat foods with less fat; reduce salt intake and high sodium foods; desist from using large amounts of sugar, sugary beverages, and engage in physical activity on a regular basis.

While these proposals are designed for adults, Ms. Broome said guidelines for schools were already drafted and were now being tested.

"We will be looking at beverages, snacks and so on. Right now, we are testing them with students and parents to see if they are user-friendly. In June we will have a Nutrition Week, starting on June 1, which is also Caribbean Nutrition Day. During that week, we will be focusing on promoting healthy eating habits in children," Ms. Broome shared.

Members of the public may obtain copies of the new booklet, free of cost, at the National Nutrition Centre, Ladymeade Gardens, Jemmotts Lane, St. Michael or any of the Ministry of Health’s eight polyclinics.


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