Sun | May 26, 2019

Hanover residents encouraged to adopt healthy lifestyle practices

Published:Wednesday | February 27, 2019 | 12:09 AM
Charla Nelson (left) gets her height and weight checked by registered nurse with the Ministry of Health, Sheri-Ann Brown, at last week’s ‘Taking Responsibility Road Tour’, at the Walter Hall Anglican Parish Church in Lucea, Hanover.

Minister of Health, Dr Christopher Tufton, is encouraging residents of Hanover to adopt healthy lifestyle practices to prevent the risks of obesity and non-communicable diseases.

Speaking at the Ministry of Health ‘Taking Responsibility Road Tour’ at the Walter Hall Anglican Parish Church in Lucea, Hanover, last week, Tufton said the ministry is at the forefront in improving the health and wellness profile of the parish, through additional resources to include infrastructure and personnel.

He said that curative healthcare needs to work in unison with preventative health practices, and this is where the people of Hanover come in, as they need to take a new approach to overcome obesity and lifestyle diseases for a healthier life.

“One in two Jamaicans, according to the recent health and lifestyle survey, is obese, and it’s a disease that develops other critical life-threatening complications,” said the minister.

He also noted that one in three Jamaicans is hypertensive, and one in eight Jamaicans is diabetic.

“The reality is that as a country, we are, by virtue of our actions, eating and drinking ourselves sick. It should start with all of us now taking responsibility and understanding our health status,” he said.

Tufton pointed out that the ministry will be implementing a number of critical plans this year to bolster the current growing health services in the parish. “This will include personnel and building infrastructure,” he noted.

The minister explained that the initiative is about “how we get people to change habits”.

“It is a psychological sort of behavioural change and, in reality, is the core approach to how we enhance people’s lives, and that is one of the reasons why we established a food industry task force. The task force will look at a couple of things, such as the consumption of sugars, salts, fats, alcohol and tobacco as important policy positions to create greater awareness and to let consumers know what they are eating and the consequences of overconsumption,” he added.