Categorized | National News

Waterful Wednesday In Schools

In an effort to decrease the percentage of childhood obesity, Halt, the healthy lifestyle team, an action arm of the Cancer Society, hopes to start a trend of drinking only water in schools one day out of the week, which they hope to implement in the 2018/2019 school year.

​The Initiative that has already began in several schools in New Providence will eventually make its way in schools throughout the country an initiative dubbed Waterful Wednesdays.

​Pushing forward with the initiative, are Dr. Tony Frankson, lecturer at the University of the West Indies School of Clinical Medicine and Research, Bahamas Campus, Dr. Catherine Conliffe, Family Medicine Specialist and Camelta Barnes, Nutritionist at the Ministry of Health.

​Speaking with this Journal, Dr. Frankson said that the initiative hopes that children will want to drink more water and with more than 80 percent of the human body made up of water.

​“Replacing sweetened sodas, sugar drinks, that’s going to improve the health of many of our children they will experience for a day what it is like to enjoy the benefits of water and they will see that it is just a wonderful experience.

​“They will feel better and it will start a trend; we hope where it will become a habit.

​“We want the children to couple one good habit like drinking water regularly throughout the day, like every three hours, with say for example enough sleep and also, enough exercise.

​“We right now have a situation where five out of every six of our children are not getting sufficient exercise. What’s the use of drinking water if you are just sitting down all day,” Dr. Frankson said.
​“Waterful Wednesday is when we plant that seed of wellness in people using the approach of something that is really what makes up the majority of our bodies,” he said

​Now the trio say they are not trying to ban pleasures from Bahamians, but rather to keep people healthy to enjoy some of the other pleasures of life.

​Dr. Conliffe said that part of the vision of the Halt team is that they find solutions to resolve overweight and obesity in children.

​“Not only in The Bahamas but in the region, one out of three children are either overweight or obese in the region.

​“So, as part of our campaign to help reduce childhood obesity we have decided to start with our Waterful Wednesdays.

​“We’re not saying no juice, what we’re saying is to give more water. If you give more water, then naturally you will consume less juice. So, by encouraging our students to drink water on a particular day, we thought that would be a start to decreasing consumption of sugar sweetened beverages in our nations kids,” Dr. Conliffe said.

​Acknowledging that it is no easy task when the body seems to crave sugar more often at times, nutritionist Camelta Barnes said that infusing water with fruits is an added benefit for children.

​“For children we are suggesting that parents try fruit infused water, especially when you slice oranges, [and] you put it in the water. For the adults and even for children you put a hint of ginger in it, it’s delicious.

​“Blueberries and strawberries and mango and soursop, you name it. We are [also] recommending that parents decrease the amount of juice that they give to their children,” Ms. Barnes said.

​Schools already a part of the initiative include Eva Hilton, C.V Bethel, S.C McPherson, Catholic schools and St. Jonh’s College.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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