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Jun 19, 2013

Caribbean nutrition day also looks at the health killers

No city, virtual or otherwise would be incomplete without a proper diet for its inhabitants. Caribbean Nutrition Day is recognized every year on June first. And today, at the Biltmore Plaza, the Ministry of Health celebrated that day with a nutrition seminar to educate stakeholders within the food service providers industry on nutritional practices to improve healthy eating. Statistics show that over sixty percent of the population is obese, twenty-seven percent has high blood pressure, thirteen percent has diabetes, which is the leading cause of deaths. So today, various cooks, restaurateurs and the like were hosted for a training in which the ministry shared information of healthy nutrition principles, food safety and the Belize food guidelines. Nutritionist, Robyn Daly, explains.

 

Robyn Daly, Nutritionist, Ministry of Health

Robyn Daly

“Well some of the malpractices include…well we want people to eat more fruits and vegetables so we want those to be some of the items that are in meals. Also too much fat; people prepare foods using a lot of fat, too much salt, also using a lot of sugar. It might seem like it makes the food nice, but when you look at our health, we need to give them tips on how to make food a little bit healthier. We want people to use the information that we provide to them to impact people’s lives in a healthy way. And also food safety. We see people selling at the side of the road, there is no water to wash their hands they are handling foods with the same hands they use to handling the money. Like I said…hygienic practices; that is another topic that we are doing today; selling out of the trunk of cars. We need to make sure that the foods that we are providing for our Belizean people is the best quality that they can provide. So that is what we are hoping to impact today. When you are looking at portion size, we are actually doing portion sizes for food. Many times people are serving food…and two people can eat out of that plate. You don’t need to give that much food when you are looking at portion size…people feel obligated to eat food that they are given. So portion sizes are an issue for is. So those are some of the concerns and discussions that are coming up so far.  We have here with us the northern region of the ministry of health and there is an important reason for that. That person we’ve recently hired a nutritionist that is stationed in Orange Walk District. So we’ve invited that entire team to come here and kinda observe and join us in this initiative so they can go and reproduce this exact same training in Orange Walk and Corozal. We want to reach out to the entire country. We do have a lot. We only invited about thirty-five and as you can see the room is packed. We have very good representation and we still have more to do. So we want to repeat this training again, we want to go out to the district—we’ve done it in Belmopan—and we want to continue reaching out and providing the information.”

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