Categorized | National News


Being ranked number one  in the Caribbean for child obesity and  number 6 worldwide for adult obesity, an organization known as  HALT has made their move in implementing better health in the Bahamas. According to Dr. Karen Conliffe  one  in 10 Bahamian children are hypertensive and there are large numbers of diabetic kids with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. 

HALT says that 45 percent  of Bahamian children are overweight and obese. The healthy lifestyles team is not only advocating for a ban on the sale and accessibility of sugar sweetened beverages in schools, they are calling the heads of the government of Caricom to enact several policies to combat childhood obesity.

They are pushing for the Caricom to impose a tax on sugar sweetened beverages, to ban the sale, promotion and marketing of sugar sweetened beverages and unhealthy fast food and junk food in schools and adoption and application of regional standards for nutritional and front of packaging labeling of foods and beverages.  

HALT  has gotten support from Minister of Health  Dr. Duane Sands, who signed the petition on May 4,  former Governer General Sir Arthur Foulkes, who signed on April 16th and Mrs. Patricia Minnis, who signed on May 22nd. Mrs. Minnis says that she works with health and wellness on a regular and this is why she is so dedicated to the halt project. 

With the start of “Waterful Wednesdays”, the healthy lifestyles team has made headway in implementing its program for better health in the Bahamas. Waterful Wednesdays is a program that has been started in all Catholic primary schools, C.V Bethel, St. Johns, Palmdale Primary and a few others where ONLY water is sold on Wednesdays.  

The HALT committee says the schools are on board and are working well with them, but the help of the parents is needed, as a child’s lifestyle and eating habits starts from home. HALT says if Bahamians were to cut out three highly sweetened drinks a day, they can lose one pound a week, as these drinks make up 10-11 percent  of a child’s diet. The focus on water is just the first phase of this life changing program and it is in line with a policy currently being proposed by the Ministry of Health. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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