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Ministry to Stage Campaign for Healthy Living

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson (3rd left), is embraced by Nutritionist with the Heart Foundation of Jamaica, Frances Mahfood (2nd left), after he addressed the launch of Heart Month, to be observed in February, at the Spanish Court Hotel, in New Kingston, on January 27. Others (from left) are: Brand Manager at Wisynco, Omoye Phillpotts-Brown, and Executive Director at the Foundation, Deborah Chen. Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson (3rd left), is embraced by Nutritionist with the Heart Foundation of Jamaica, Frances Mahfood (2nd left), after he addressed the launch of Heart Month, to be observed in February, at the Spanish Court Hotel, in New Kingston, on January 27. Others (from left) are: Brand Manager at Wisynco, Omoye Phillpotts-Brown, and Executive Director at the Foundation, Deborah Chen.
KINGSTON, January 28, 2015 - The Ministry of Health will be embarking on a series of health campaign events to encourage the population to consume healthy foods, even as it gets ready for the distribution of the Food-based Dietary Guidelines.

“The Food-based Dietary Guidelines are close to completion, and a public education campaign will be undertaken to promote portion sizes, and healthy food choices among the population. We will also be launching the completed manual on Physical Activity for the Workplace,” Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Ferguson, said.

He was addressing the launch of Heart Month, to be observed in February, at the Spanish Court Hotel, in New Kingston, on January 27.

The Minister informed that he has met with the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ), and operators of food outlets, but stressed that individuals must make the necessary choices with what they consume to protect their health.

“We continue to recommend healthy food choices in schools and other public institutions, and promote the consumption of a variety of fruits and vegetables daily, and the reduction of salt and fats in diets, and 30 minutes of physical activity per day for at least three times per day,” Dr. Ferguson said.

The month of February is used by the Heart Foundation of Jamaica, with support from the Ministry of Health, and several corporate entities, to encourage persons to prevent heart disease through their many awareness activities.

This year’s observation is being held under the theme: ‘Sugar: Are You Too Sweet? Healthy Eating for a Healthy Heart’.

According to the Minister, the theme is in support of strategies to promote responsible health habits, to reduce Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). The month-long activities, he said, will seek to raise awareness for the reduction of saturated fat and sugars in processed food.

“The elimination of industrially produced transfat in foods, and the issue of labeling to provide information, such as caloric values, portion sizes and nutritional values in order to allow consumers to make informed choices, will also be pursued,”  Dr. Ferguson said.

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