‘Eat Smart for a Healthy Start’ – focus of UWI students’ health fair
As part of their last set of activities before final examinations, Nutribuddies, a group of University of the West Indies (UWI) students from the department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work, hosted a health fair at the UWI Undercroft building on Friday.
Hosted under the theme 'Eat Smart for a Healthy Start', a number of health issues were discussed and several presentations made by nutrition specialists.
Kirk Bolton, president of the Jamaica Association of Professionals in Nutrition and Dietetics, highlighted a number of key points related to maintaining healthy lifestyles. Among the issues Bolton discussed were the importance of defecating regularly, engaging in simple exercises, and weight loss.
"You need to recognise the importance of 'going'. I have had patients who tell me that they do not like the act of defecating and they don't even want to look around. You need to know what is coming out because it is an indication of your health status," Bolton said.
"Some of us are filled with a lot of waste. Can you imagine, you having your garbage inside your house locked up and you leave it for a week? Most of my patients are females and they tend to have constipation issues and a lot of times. I see incidents of fibroids and cystitis. What is causing this is that they are not going enough."
In such cases, Bolton surmises that since the reproductive system in humans are so close to the colon, the excess waste matter that is stored up is digested by bacteria and therefore the by-product seeps across the walls of the colon, which is then transferred to the reproductive system, causing a series of mal growths.
Regarding exercise, Bolton said that persons don't have to focus on engaging in lengthy physical activities, but, instead, should make exercise a part of their daily routine.
"There is a new way of thinking. There is a principle known as the non-exercise activity, thermogenesis, which is simply saying, it is not classified as a structured activity such as exercise, but you washing up your plate, sweeping up your house, you climbing the stairs, you parking a distance from your class and walking to class (makes a difference)," he said.
NestlÈ Jamaica's nutrition adviser, Rosanna Park, in her presentation, focused on the importance of eating breakfast and reading food labels.
"As the theme suggests, we are trying to promote healthy eating. As it relates to breakfast, it is the most important meal of the day, but people neglect it because we all have busy schedules. We're trying to promote that to get people to eat breakfast, educate them on the benefits of breakfast and how they can actually go about having their breakfast by keeping things simple and convenient for them," Park told The Gleaner.
She added, "Reading food labels is important because sometimes we just go to the supermarket and we just pick up any food item and just go ahead, prepare it how we want and just eat it how we want, without having any idea as to what we're eating."