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Jul 6, 2012

FOPREL aims to improve grades with proper nutrition

The Forum of Presidents of Legislative Branches in Central America and the Caribbean (FOPREL) consists of eight permanent members: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic. The Central American Initiative seeks to improve education of students by fostering healthy eating habits; a topic which took center stage at a forum at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza. The meeting, which held delegates from across the region, was chaired by Belize, in particular heads of parliament.  Speaker of the House, Michael Peyrefitte said that Belize will lead the charge against children being unhealthy in schools.


Michael Peyrefitte, Speaker of the House

Michael Peyrefitte

“The forum for elected presidents which essentially is just a forum for heads of parliament. As speaker of the House for Belize, then I belong to that parliamentary association for Central America. It is a brainchild of SICA to which we also belong in Central America. And what we do as elected presidents is to attempt to form this group and form committees so that we can come up with ideas that could turn to policies and laws. Different countries have different responsibilities. For example you would have one country di represent and promote for the region national security, the other one for the environment. For example Costa Rica is for the environment, Panama is for banking and finance. In the last couple months, the executive secretary for FOPREL, Doctor Santiago, asked me if we could promote for Belize to be the chairman of the education and health committee for FOPREL. Of course, I liaised with the honorable Patrick Faber, the Minister of Education, and he jumped on the opportunity for Belize to represent for education and health in FOPREL. And what we are doing here for the first time ever in Belize, we are having a FOPREL meeting. We are trying to come up with different resolutions that Belize will strive for and represent and contribute to the parliament of Central America. There is a preliminary set of resolutions that we will look into. I don’t want to preempt what the inter-parliamentary committee will decide on, but there is a fight against hungry; there is a fight towards healthy consumption of food for children in schools. The main theme that seems to be coming out is that while children are going to school, separate from the education itself is their health. Children are not eating properly and in certain countries children are not eating at all. We realize that in certain countries—Guatemala, El Salvador—have of them are not in school and the other half who are in school are not eating healthy. Nicaragua passed a very radical executive order in which for example they banned all soft drinks, all junk foods to be served in primary schools for example. So Belize will lead the charge against children being unhealthy who are in school and that general state of being unhealthy and how it affects their education.”


The meeting was chaired by Minister of Education Patrick Faber. A policy document regarding nutrition and health was penned by the participants at the end of the session.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “FOPREL aims to improve grades with proper nutrition”

  1. Storm says:

    Well, Nicaragua has returned to dictatorship, so that is not an example for a democracy to follow.

    But I’m sure good nutrition promotes healthy body and brain cells, and can make a lasting improvement to a person’s life. Bad nutrition can harm the body, of course, and lead to gradual development of devastating diseases, like diabetes and obesity [not a disease by itself, but it causes lots of problems with the heart, blood circulation etc.].

    BUT WE NEED SOMEONE WHO HAS SOLID EDUCATION TO SAY WHAT IS HEALTHY AND WHAT IS NOT. In the States for decades they promoted a “healthy food pyramid” in public schools [I've seen the books they used] — but it turned out it was developed and paid for by beef and dairy industries to sell their products. Turns out too much dairy and beef causes heart disease, but millions upon millions of American children were misled into eating unhealthy diets.

    I have a suggestion for the greatest nutrition consultant on Earth, in my opinion — I heard him in 1992, and have followed his advice faithfully since then, and enjoy superb health at a pretty senior age. He has been named the “best physician” by a group called “Physicians for Ethical Medicine” [or something close to that]. His name is Dr. John McDougall of Santa Rosa, California, and you can check him out at . I know he loves Central America, because he brings his seminars to Costa Rica at least once a year, so he probably would be happy to speak to people from Belize.

    His program works great for me, so I recommend it.

  2. Simone says:

    So the speaker thinks that because a country did a radical thing to ban junk food and soft drinks it is bad? we should do it also-everone is getting fat-and Speaker should be the last person to be talking about healthy. Leave the children alone and you better start eating healthy.

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