Nestlé moves to combat childhood obesity
Primary- and secondary-school students from across the island had a fun-filled day participating in various activities at the seventh staging of Nestlé Jamaica's Schools Wellness Fiesta, held at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre recently.
The fiesta, regarded as a resounding success, achieved its objectives of promoting healthier lifestyles for Jamaican children. Held under the theme, 'Eat Healthy...Exercise...Knock Out Obesity,' the day's activities included rhythmic skipping, youth wellness research presentations, free health checks, the Nestlé Activity Zone and the Jamaica Culinary Arts 'Dutchie Dash' competition.
According to Shawna Kidd, Nestlés corporate communications and consumer relations manager, the company recognised the importance of children having a healthy lifestyle in order to combat the issues of childhood obesity.
"At Nestlé, we are committed to actively raising the quality of life for every child. We want all our children, irrespective of age and school, to live happy, healthy lives to achieve their full potential. Our task at Nestlé is to make this dream possible by providing the information that each child needs to make healthy lifestyle choices today so they can grow into healthy adults tomorrow," Kidd said.
Kirk Bolton, immediate past president for the Jamaica Association of Professionals in Nutrition and Dietetics, and chief executive officer at Diet Centre Jamaica, who was the guest speaker at the event, said it was important for children to be healthy as it helped them to understand the importance of health and wellness from an early stage.
According to Bolton, 25 per cent of persons between 15-74 years are classified as overweight or obese which, he indicated, is a precursor to non-communicable diseases such as heart disease and stroke. "If all persons subscribe to Nestlé's pledge, then they will not only live a long life, but a healthy life," Bolton said.
The eventual winners on the day were Hydel High, taking first place in the research and booth segment at the secondary level, while Lannaman's Prep, Covenant Christian Academy and Golden Spring Primary were first, second and third, respectively, in the primary-school category.
Merl Grove High School copped first place in the rhythmic skipping category at the high-school level, while Covenant Christian Academy and Seaforth Primary's teams one and two were first, second and third, respectively, in the primary-, school category.
In the 'Dutchie Dash' category, Sherwin Gilzene was the first-place winner, with Samantha Robinson from the Yallahs Primary School taking second place, while the trio of AvaGay Higgins, Les-Ann Lynch and Sasha Gay-Edwards from the Port Maria Vocational Training Centre placed third.
The Nestlé Schools Wellness Fiesta was held in partnership with the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission.