As the saying goes, mighty oaks from little acorns grow.
And although the children at Red Bay Primary School won’t see an oak tree grow in their grounds, they can expect an apple tree.
To mark Caribbean Wellness Day health experts are encouraging youngsters to not only eat healthier, but also live a healthier lifestyle.
Statistics show 30 percent of the youth in the Caribbean are either overweight, or obese.
“This puts them at increased risk for early onset of diabetes, hypertension, cancer and cardiovascular disease,” said Tamara Whorms-Riley, a community dietitian with the Health Service Authority.
“We cannot ignore the cost associated with the overall long-term management of these diseases.
“Our aim is to stop as well as reverse the rise of obesity in young people by 2025 which is not too far from now.
“Hence the urgency in raising awareness within our population to increase healthy lifestyle practices and stop smoking.”
One small step being undertaken, is planting fruit trees in schools countrywide. And first off the mark was Red Bay Primary which hopes in a few years’ time, it’ll be Jamaican apples all round.
Tips to live healthier
- Lower the risks of Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease by choosing to eat healthy 90 percent of the time which, means avoid high fat meals and ready prepared salty foods.
- Aim to make half your plate vegetables and fruits in the right format by avoiding the use of all sweet fruits at once; mix and blend on your plate.
- Exercise at least 1 hour per day for 3-5days per week (use your physician’s recommendation).
- Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption or binging.
- Talk to your child about healthy eating habits away from home and be a role model.