Jamaica News: Eighty-three schools across the island have been rewarded for their efforts in executing the five components of the Ministry of Health and Wellness ‘Promoting Healthy Lifestyles in Schools’ initiative.
The components are the implementation of: sugar-sweetened beverages guidelines, water day, fruit/vegetable day, five-minute breaks and one-hour breaks.
Platinum, gold, silver and bronze awards were presented, respectively, for full implementation of five, four, three and two components of the healthy lifestyle measures. Certificates of commitment were issued for full implementation of one component.
The presentations were made during the Caribbean Nutrition Day National Symposium and Awards ceremony held on Tuesday (June 4), at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston.
The event, which also featured panel discussions and performances, was in observance of Caribbean Nutrition Day observed annually on June 1.
Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, told JIS News that the event was part of initiatives under the flagship ‘Jamaica Moves in School’ programme.
“We have been a lot more assertive in pushing for more health and wellness activities in the school system. It is a direct response to the global school health survey, which suggests that children are, in fact, unhealthier, with obesity levels doubling. It is a direct consequence of consumption habits and lack of physical activity,” he noted.
“We tapped into Caribbean Nutrition Day to highlight those schools that are really making the effort. We introduced ‘Jamaica Moves’ in 100 schools and a number of targets were set. Today’s event is held in recognition of institutions that have really made the effort to implement those targets,” he added.\
The Health and Wellness Minister reiterated that the proposed National School Nutrition Policy will shortly be submitted for Cabinet approval.
The policy, which is being developed in collaboration with the Education, Youth and Information Ministry, aims to promote healthy eating and physical activity among students.
During the event, health and education regions and parishes were awarded based on the percentage of schools receiving platinum and gold awards.
First place went to the North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA) with the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), placing second; education regions five and two copped first and second places, respectively; while Portland and Manchester were first and second, respectively.
Caribbean Nutrition Day focuses on the promotion of healthy eating and physical activity to prevent and control non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
This year, the emphasis was on practical demonstrations of healthy eating and physical activity as well as access to health screening.
Source: JIS News