Health ministry partners with RADA to promote healthy eatingSaturday, March 06, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) are partnering to promote healthy eating to maintain good colon health.
The partnership comes in observance of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, being observed in March.
Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in Jamaica for men and women.
A memorandum of understanding was signed between the Ministry of Health and Wellness and RADA yesterday to formalise the partnership.
Speaking at the virtual ceremony, Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, said nutrition plays a role in disease prevention and causation, including cancer.
He explained that the ministry will be using the month as a golden opportunity to further promote nutritional intervention and reiterate the critical importance of consuming more high-fibre foods, vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grain, tubers, especially those options that are homegrown.
“We know that RADA has been a vanguard of not only healthy eating but as the strident voice of eating what we grow and growing what we eat. RADA clearly appreciates the notion that more fruits, vegetables and ground provisions should be consumed, and we are happy to be collaborating with RADA to highlight the correlation between a colon-friendly diet and lowering the risk of colorectal cancer,” he said.
The minister argued that the more people know and understand about healthy eating and digestive health, the more Jamaicans should be purposeful in their diet that offers some protection from the severity of diseases.
Citing statistics from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund, Tufton informed that 30 to 40 per cent of all cancers can be prevented by appropriate diet, physical activity and maintenance of appropriate body weight.
He noted that colorectal cancer occurs more frequently with diets low in fruits, vegetables, vegetable protein and fibre, adding that diets containing overcooked or burnt meat or fish increases the risk.
“People who eat fried, well-cooked red meat more than once per week are at twice the risk of colorectal cancer compared to those who eat lightly cooked red meat less frequently,” he said.
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