Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Inspired by the Healthy Lifestyle School Intervention programme, the Ebenezer Thomas Primary School conducted an activity involving the entire school in celebration of World Diabetes Day.
The event educated students about diabetes, encouraged physical activity and shed some light on how much sugar is actually contained in juice drinks and carbonated sodas. Healthy Lifestyle Liaison Teacher and Co-Organiser of the event, Ms. Shermiker Nibbs said that the theme for the event is “I like to move it, move it, watering it down.” She added that they did a lot of physical activities, encouraged the children to drink water, and no juices were allowed.
As part of the activities Dr. Alaire Kan-Fraser also addressed the students on diabetes and diabetes prevention. “I spoke about steps to prevention and encouraged the students to make healthier food choices, as well as the importance of physical activity,” Dr. Kan-Fraser said.
The Doctor further stated that childhood obesity is a very serious concern and parents should take great steps to monitor their child or children’s diet and ensure that children are physically active. She also said that water is very important in terms of bodily functions and she encouraged parents to give their children more water and healthier snacks.
The Ebenezer Thomas Primary School is taking bold steps to improve the health of the students by making serious changes to types of snack they sell.
”We no longer have specials or ice pops that are made from sugary drinks. We only promote those that are made from fruit juices. We stopped selling the Cheetos, Doritos and all those junk foods that children like. We are into healthy eating and we also encourage students to eat a fruit and drink water for their morning snack,” Ms. Nibbs said.
Ms. Nibbs also encouraged other schools to support the intervention by assisting the children with making healthier meal options.
The Healthy Lifestyle School Intervention Programme is a joint initiative by the Ministries of Education and Culture and Health and Social Development and it is designed to promote healthy eating and active living through nutrition and physical activity, school wide promotional activities and supportive school, community and home environments.