Tue | Oct 16, 2018

J'cans digging their graves with unhealthy habits

Published:Monday | February 19, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton (right) and Oscar Kerr (left), acting regional manager, Central Region, COURTS, gets instructions from Meisha-Gay Mattis Wilson, certified integrative nutrition health coach, on how to make a smoothie from fruits and vegetable at The Courts Healthy Living Workshop held at Courts Cross Roads on Saturday.

Certified Integrative nutrition health coach Meisha-Gaye Mattis Wilson says it is critical that Jamaicans take their well-being seriously, indicating that the society is currently experiencing a "health crisis".

Wilson had the attention of her audience as she demonstrated simple ways in which persons can embark on proper eating practices at a Healthy Living Workshop, which was hosted by Courts Jamaica Limited in Cross Roads on Saturday.

"We are experiencing what we call a global health crisis. We are literally digging our graves with what is it we are doing and what is it that we are not doing. We have become a sedentary society. We are constantly hooked to a screen, as we have become addicted to technology," she said.

"When it comes to healthy behaviour, you have to model healthy behaviour; you have to create that environment. If it is that you hang out with folks who are most likely to be chilling at a bar on a Friday, what do you think will happen? If it is that you hang around folks who want to go to the gym, exercise and drink a lot of water, it is likely that you will want to copy a similar pattern," she continued.

Wilson added, "That is why we say when it comes to healthy living, it is no exception; you have to hang around persons who share those characteristics or that goal that you are trying to achieve."

She also encouraged persons not to be daunted by the expenses to live healthy, noting that the consequences of a unhealthy lifestyle can be detrimental.

"We do understand that everybody is busy and one of the major complaints that I get is that eating healthy is expensive, but if you think eating healthy is expensive, you don't want to try sickness. You either pay it now to the farmers or the supermarket or you pay it later at the hospital."

"Many times when people think of healthy eating, we think we need to buy foods that we can't even pronounce, but it is not complicated. Use what is available to you."

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton also stressed the importance of preventing sickness as opposed to the billions that are spent to cure illnesses.

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com