Dominica Diabetes Association launched an Adopt Healthy Habits Campaign at the Newtown Primary School on Tuesday 8th January, 2019.
The slogan for the campaign is “Water Wednesdays and Fruit Fridays.”
President of the Dominica Diabetes Association Marvlyn Birmingham says the Association is concerned that the non-communicable diseases are the main cause of ill health and death among the population.
Miss Birmingham said obesity has become a serious public health issues in the Region. Of even greater concern is the rise in childhood obesity.
“According to CARICOM Today, statistics show that more than 30% of our Caribbean adolescents are overweight or obese, and risk developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as: hypertension; diabetes; cancer; and cardiovascular diseases later in life.” Likewise, in Dominica, overweight and obesity are emerging as critical health concerns. Especially troubling is the increasing trend among children and adolescents,” Birmingham said.
Miss Birmingham stated that data from the STEPS survey (2008) indicate that over 45% of participants between the ages of 15 years and 64 years were either overweight or obese with a prevalence of 60% among females and 30% among males.
The 2009 Global School Health Survey indicated that 10% of adolescents aged 13 to 15 years were overweight while 26.3% were at risk of becoming overweight. Of significance 17.8% of those surveyed ate vegetables one or more times per day during the past 30 days. 15.1% ate from fast foods restaurant and 57.1% drank carbonated beverages during the 30-day period.
“Overweight and obese children are at higher risk of developing serious health problems including: type 2 diabetes; high blood pressure; asthma and other respiratory problems; sleep disorders and liver disease. They may also suffer from psychological effects such as: low self-esteem; depression; and social isolation. Childhood obesity also increases the risk of: obesity; non-communicable diseases; premature death; and disability in adulthood,” Miss Birmingham said.
Miss Birmingham said the Adopt Healthy Habits Campaign is a call to action for families to adopt healthy lifestyles.
The Adopt Healthy Habits Campaign follows on the activities implemented in observance of World Diabetes Day 2018.
The campaign starts with a call to drink more water by replacing sodas and sweetened drinks with water as the beverage of choice. It is also a call to eat more fruits for snack.