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JAMAICA | Health Minister wants dialogue on ways to curb obesity

Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Jul 7, CMC – Minister of Health, Dr Christopher Tufton, has called for dialogue between producers of sugary concentrates and Government for the well-being of society.

ObesityAccording to the minister, the producers should be part of a national dialogue with his ministry and other stakeholders to curtail the high level of obesity in Jamaica, as the issue has long-term negative impact not only on the health system, but the economy.

“The extent to which consumption of certain items will negatively affect persons and the society. will also reflect on those who provide those products. We have an obligation to the greater good of the society,”said Tufton

He was addressing a forum on curbing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the region hosted by the Caribbean Institute for Health Research (CAIHR), at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus on Thursday.

The CAIHR, under its initiative called Congregations Taking Action Against NCDs, is seeking to reduce preventable deaths in the Caribbean, by disseminating health messages through places of worship. They have received support from several partners.

Tufton told the audience that the obesity levels among young people in Jamaica are alarming. “It is almost inevitable at that rate that persons will not only develop unhealthy habits, but the public-health system is going to be challenged,” the minister said.

Those affected by obesity, the minister reasoned, will have challenges to live healthy lives, and the issue of unhealthy diets cannot be ignored, hence the need for a “more constructive conversation”.

  • Countries: Jamaica