A health official from the United States says he is concerned that a significant percent of Dominica’s population is overweight and obese.
The concern was raised by clinical psychologist, Dr. Colin King, who is currently on the island to conduct a Health Symposium on the Prevention and Management of Obesity.
According to him Dominica’s population is just over 67,000 and it is estimated that about 56 percent of the population is overweight and 24 percent obese.
“This means that 80 percent of the population has potential health problems. It is a real concern when you look at dieting and lifestyle. If you don’t change some of those things, we are looking at problems,” he said.
Dr. King says he is also concerned about obesity among the nation’s young children.
“One of the things we notice with childhood obesity is that our diet has changed over the years. Kids lunch boxes are now packed with processed sugary and salty foods that are taken to schools,” he pointed out.
He said children no longer walk to school hence the reason for the growing problem.
The symposium is part of a collaboration between the Seventh Day Adventist East Caribbean Conference and the Dominica SDA Secondary School.
Director of the obesity (Pediatric) clinic at the University of Michigan, Dr. Susan Woolford will also form part of the discussion.
In 2011 a World Bank-funded study revealed Dominica has the highest obesity prevalence in the Eastern Caribbean and in 2010 Dominica was ranked 11 of the 20 most obese countries on earth by the World Health Organization.
The symposium will be held on Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm under the theme: “How to Tip The Scale in Your Favour.”
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