Overweight children a concern
Local health officials are concerned about the increasing number of overweight and obese children.
As a result, the Ministry of Health is considering the establishment of special clinics to address this problem.
Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, today said: “The Ministry of Health recognises that obesity is a matter of concern for most of us. A report prepared by Professor Anne St. John of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital indicates that 25 per cent of the school-aged population is obese or overweight. In light of this, the Ministry is currently considering having special clinics targeting overweight or obese and at risk children, with the requisite nutritional counselling and dietary interventions.”
He was speaking at the inaugural Caribbean Obesity Forum at the Hilton Barbados.
The Health Minister also expressed concern about the number of overweight adults in Barbados, attributing this to low levels of physical activity and the adoption of a westernised type of diet, which is high in saturated fats and cholesterol.
“Current statistics indicate that … the prevalence of overweight or obesity for females is 70 per cent and 56 per cent for males. This represents an increase over the last 10 to 15 years where females accounted for 65 per cent and males at 50 per cent.”
The Risk Factor Survey indicated that 53 per cent of the adult population engaged in low levels of physical activity; with females twice as likely to report low levels of physical activity, Inniss explained. (PR)