The Bahamas is number one in the Caribbean for childhood obesity, with 45 per cent of the country’s youth either obese or extremely overweight, according to recently released statistics.
The stats have prompted a group of health professionals to lobby for the enactment of policies to combat what the group said is a growing epidemic.
The Healthy Lifetstyles Team’s (HALT) mission is to educate, inspire and empower people to make healthier lifestyle choices and advocate for better health in The Bahamas.
According to pediatrician Lashan McKenzie, Bahamian children are suffering from the consequences of a high sugar diet, including poor dental and bone health, hyper activity, short attention span and poor academic performance.
Because of these startling statistics, the group is advocating for a ban on the sale of soda, junk food an unhealthy fast food in the schools.
HALT is taking its plight to the heads of Governments in the Caribbean Community (Caricom) to impose tax on sugar sweetened beverages; ban the sale, promotion and marketing of sugar sweetened beverages in the schools; and adopt regional standards for nutritional and front package labeling of food and beverages.
Visit www.toomuchjunk.org to sign the petition.