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'Obesity: Do we even have a slim chance?' - MAJ goes to root causes

Published:Monday | May 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju/Gleaner Writer
Professor Alafia Samuels

Jamaica's growing obesity problem comes under the microscope during this year's Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ) symposium, which will run from Sunday, June 3, to Sunday, June 10.

'Obesity: Do we even have a slim chance?' is the theme for the three-day conference, where a number of scientific papers will examine the physical, emotional, psychological and financial challenges of obesity. There will also be a focus on healthy eating, as well as healthy lifestyles, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health's Jamaica Moves campaign.

The MAJ has said that members will visit one school each day from June 4-6 to inform children about the problems with being overweight and obese, educating them about measures to avoid these conditions.

Professor Alafia Samuels, director of the George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre in Barbados, will deliver the keynote address at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel after Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton declares the symposium open on the first day.

Attorney-at-law Derek Jones will be the guest speaker for the annual awards banquet at the same venue on Saturday, June 9. The title of Distinguished Fellow of the Medical Association of Jamaica will be bestowed on anaesthetist Dr Margaret Green, the first woman elected president of the MAJ. She is also a past president of the Commonwealth Medical Association.

Drs Charles Lyn and Garfield Badal will receive the MAJ award for outstanding service to the association and to the country, while Olympian Novlene Williams-Mills will be bestowed with the President's Award. A donation will also be made to the Walkers Place of Safety.

On the following day, starting at 7:00 a.m., MAJ members will engage the public in at least 20 minutes of physical and other health-focused activities in coordination with the Jamaica Moves campaign at Emancipation Park. All are invited to participate.