Health officials are calling for the elimination of the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages to students across schools in Dominica.
Diabetes Specialist, Dr. Lisa Jolly says sugar-sweetened beverages, whether they are sodas or processed juices, should not be sold or given to children across the island.
“Those have a lot of sugar and that’s a gateway,” she said.
“Sodas lead directly to diabetes without a shadow of a doubt. Looking at the school is one, it’s part of it but the other part of it we have to look at what’s around the school because part of what you eat is what is in your environment. And if we look at the schools across Dominica there’s a shop nearby each school, maybe two, maybe three that sells either sugar-sweetened beverages or other concentrated sweets, either candies or chocolates to the children and that is a practice we have to change.”
Dr. Jolly also says the physical activity of the children is of critical importance as well.
“Physical activity also plays a role,” Jolly noted.
She added, “Most children do not get the recommended sixty minutes of physical activity every day across schools in Dominica. The other part of it, the electronic devices, the screens, so most children are going to school but also, they are spending a significant amount of time sedentary watching screens whether it be tv screen, iPad, screen, iPod screen, tablet screen; some other sort of screen that renders them sedentary.”
“So we need to do two things, we need to look at their intake at school what is being sold at the school level as well as what is allowed in the school for them to eat,” Jolly explained.
She further added, “I understand sometimes they sell pizzas and cakes and things like that, and then we also need to work on the physical activities.”