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Gov’t to tackle obesity in kids

Friday, September 07, 2012 | 11:37 AM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Government is developing a strategy to fight childhood obesity and other lifestyle diseases.

The National Non-Communicable Diseases Committee was recently formed to address those issues, which have become increasingly common among Jamaicans.

Director in the Health Ministry, Kevin Harvey, said childhood obesity is not only a problem in Jamaica adding that there’s an estimated 22 million overweight children, under the age of five years, worldwide.

The approach will seek to regulate calories, ensure food security, create a supportive environment and encourage physical activity in schools, in order to mitigate the impact of obesity on health care costs, morbidity and mortality, and the overall quality of life of the Jamaican people.

Childhood obesity places future generations at high risk of obesity, as obese adolescents eventually become obese adults, Harvey said.

He added that the issue is of concern for all governments based on its immediate and long-term health impact.

“Good lifestyle habits, including eating healthy and exercising, can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases,” he said.

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