Obesity among Dominican children a “worrying concern”

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Chandler Hyacinth, has stated based on statistics, there is an “alarmingly high” rate children who are overweight in Dominica and it is a “worrying concern” for the health sector.

She was speaking at the launch of Caribbean Wellness Day 2017 on Friday September 1st 2017 at the year, Acute Psychiatric Unit (APU) Conference Room at the Princess Margaret Hospital.

Hyacinth informed those gathered that just last year, statistics showed that one out of 10 children in Dominica under the age of five was “suffering from obesity,” and that data is a “worrying concern for us as it has long term implications for the health of our nation.”

She noted that unhealthy behavior in an unhealthy environment is an assurance that unhealthy lifestyles will continue, and it takes effort and commitment to want to change these habits.

Hyacinth said the situation is worrying

“As we know, these entrenched behaviors and unhealthy environments ensure that these non-communicable diseases will continue to affect future generations. For us, many of our young people have unprecedented access to information and the capacity to act on that information in shaping their own lives and determining their own health status,” Hyacinth stated.

She commended the organizers of the month of activities for taking up the cause and placing focus on health and wellness for the youth.

“This, I think, will certainly assist in bringing the relevant concerns to the fore and raising awareness among youth about the importance of preserving their health,” she said.

Hyacinth remarked that the Ministry looks forward to the engagement of the youth during the month of activities and holds high expectations that over the next month healthy behavior will be promoted such as exercise programs, and “healthy eating that are specially targeted at our young people.”

A few of the activities to celebrate wellness includes a health walk, sporting activities where the Ministry of Health is in collaboration with organizations such as the Dominica Volleyball Association and the Dominica Olympic Committee, and a Cardio Jam to be held in Portsmouth.

Caribbean Wellness Day (CWD) is an initiative of the CARICOM Heads of Governments, evolving from a Summit on Chronic Non Communicable Diseases– CNCD, held in Trinidad in 2007.

Every second Saturday in September is designated as Caribbean Wellness Day, to draw attention to Non Communicable Diseases.



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  1. As if
    September 4, 2017

    Some of those kids, it’s like they’re going to pop. If they fall, you can’t even help them up. The parents make them greedy, giving them food to be quiet, or giving them junk food for snack time at school. They have a big bottle of soda and a little bottle of water.

    I also think some of the schools are to blame. They have this nonsense about two snack times. Like What!. when I went to school I had one break, IF i got thirst, I asked permission to go have a drink of water.

  2. theNightKing
    September 4, 2017

    I saw this little girl the other day, she was bursting at the seams. I said my god how to parents allow their children to get so fat, especially their little girls. then i saw the mother. I thought maybe it was genes, But then i notices all the mother did was give the little girl sugary and salty snacks to keep her quiet and stop her from bothering her. Like here go and sit down and eat your corn curls. look hold your coke. then she came back again because she was still “hungry”. then the tube of pringles came out. Let those children drink water and eat fruits and go outside and run.

    • Let The Truth Be Known
      September 5, 2017

      That little girl as some others may have a huge appetite. Again, it is what she got accustomed to eating and drinking. If she is allowed all the goodies which her taste buds love, she will become one fat child/person. It is time to stop all those salty foods, fries and pop, etc. If not, it will not be long when she will not be able to walk.
      The mother needs counseling on how to feed her nutritiously.
      Some of them may have a glandular problem. Have you seen pictures of some US people? Are they huge. There was one man who was fat that a ladder had to be used to take him out through the window of his house. I do not know if he is still alive.
      There was another who died and while carrying his remains in the coffin, it fell through the bottom of the coffin to the ground.
      Let us say they exist in every country. Aside from eating too much, fried foods, fast foods and pop, I wonder how they got that way if these types of food and drinks did not cause it.

  3. September 3, 2017

    Sugared cereals. Candy. No wonder! The island abounds in fruit. And too much fried foods. And why are so many women so fat?

    • September 4, 2017

      Them women poisoning their inside with family planning, this is the reason why so many women are fat in DA, and some buying periactine to gat fat, some fat up and them legs thin like chicken and frog leg

  4. %
    September 3, 2017

    Some parents are telling people to their faces that they do not want their children to be meg.. Too much junk food are being consumed at school. Go see for all you self.

    • As if
      September 4, 2017

      Nonsense. You must have cob-weds in place of a brain. What does Skerrit have to do with that?

    September 3, 2017

    When I was brought up, boys were active and looked masculine; but nowadays,alot of little boys look like effeminate,what a shame! We used to go swimming,climbing fruit trees, running about,hiking through bushes, walking up rivers,playing all sorts of physical games! What are parents guilty of now, giving the children computers,laptops,tablets,cellphones and all other gadgets that robs the children of their health,sanity and morals! These are the things which raises children nowadays, taking the place of proper parental guidance! Many of the parents knows of the kind of illicit immoral things their children watch and listen to in the name of music and entertainment, it’s the devil entering the children! This island is in a sorry state with alot of lust souls,from top to bottom! The illegal rogue prime mistake must go!

    September 3, 2017

    :?: It’s no surprise the alarming rate of obesity on island, and the people who are supposed to be responsible for the health and eating habits of the citizens, especially the children only talk because of their position and job,but do little or nothing to protect the people! When a prime mistake can allow a kfc(killing fast the children) to be operating in what is supposed to be the market extension, and in a hypocritical way says to the citizens that they should avoid fast foods, says everything wrong about this rogue! It’s in the power of his regime to prevent such from happening and put in place systems that will empower the populace to live a healthy lifestyle! All you who were supposed to stand your ground with protest and demonstrations to prevent a kfc from being operated on island, especially in the farmers market remained mute,but now that the children looks like death warmed up,you continue with your usual talk shop!

    • A. George
      September 4, 2017

      hold up!…. first of all KFC is a private entity… I think it would be unwise of a government to stop an entrepreneur from establishing a business that they have invested in for a profit.

      Did you notice that KFC is right next to the Roseau Market? Like right therreee … I go to the Roseau market for a coconut every day I am in town.. and it costs only $2 … as for when mango is in season… blows on that, mangoes in the market cyaan done…. people have a choice … and they choose KFC …

      initiatives like Caribbean Wellness Month are a start and more education needs to be done on how people can prepare healthy and affordable meals. Its one thing to know veggies are good for you, its another to know how to combine them into a tasty meal your family will love. so yes more can be done but do not put all the blame in the lap of the government. Citizens must be responsible as the Ministry of Health states in all their promos “Your Health is Your Responsibility.”

      • Let The Truth Be Known
        September 5, 2017

        This is where the health nurse and social Service come in.
        If the parents know about casseroles, they could make some tasty ones with vegetables, even with rice, as rice and broccoli/cauliflower; carrot, sweet potatoes recipes, etc. There are so many recipes on the internet. If they do not have such books and have computer and internet service, they could Google them.
        I came across carrot, pineapple, beets, cucumber, celery juices and much more on the internet. These could be made in a juicer or blender.
        I do think the health nurse and Social Service should help these parents and provide advice on nutrition, also when these children are babies.

  7. Let The Truth Be Known
    September 2, 2017

    The saying, too much of one thing is good for nothing.
    A healthy lifestyle begins from youth.
    Dominica has fruits and vegetables to help them retain healthiness.
    In the morning for breakfast, whole wheat grains, oatmeal or cream of wheat (use the measurements).
    A slice of bread, a fruit as also a banana; probably half. If it is possible, drink a glass of either homogenized or 2 per cent milk.
    Drink ample water.
    No biscuits which are especially not home-made or sweet ones. Give them some fruit.
    Very little sugar. Be careful with the type of dessert they are given.
    I would think one level teaspoon of sugar per day would be adequate.
    Very little fried, fatty and fast foods, if none at all.
    Children can only eat so much. Do not force them to eat a full plate of food. Follow it up with some fruit.
    Fish especially is necessary for health and brains. It is brain food.
    No pop as pepsi and cocoa cola or such sweet drinks.
    Avoid too much cake which are sweet.

  8. Nubian Queen
    September 2, 2017

    why not have a school cardio jam? Windsor Park Sports Stadium is a good venue. It could be done by grades and forms. Hire Asa Bantan and Triple K. Is that those children listening to these anyway, so let them make a positive contribution to their fans’ health.

  9. Plato
    September 2, 2017

    I believe it all goes back to the mode of parenting that we see in Dominica and the world by extension in recent times. The majority of our parents are of the view that directing our children to eat the right foods is a form of depriving them of what they love. We are the parents we should know what’s best for our children because in the future in addition to the high medical bill and the hassle, we have to watch our children suffer. Let’s take a stand to ensure proper diet and exercise for our children.

  10. Me
    September 2, 2017

    Too much computer, too much tablet and phone. Put more focus on sports.

  11. dorti esmond
    September 1, 2017

    the health sector in dominica take a long time to see the worrying concern of our children health ,so please try to do somthing about it like stop importing some of those toxin foods ,there is no testing of foods when they come to dominica

  12. Real Truth
    September 1, 2017

    Fact. If Dominica does not come to grips with this obesity crisis, the crippling financial cost to all sectors of government will be catastrophic! The new hospital in no way will be able to accommodate the cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney failure patients etc. to just name a few dire results of this obesity epidemic………..

  13. Angel
    September 1, 2017

    Well it’s hardly surprising since so many of us choose to consume fast food and bottled drinks. Dominica’s health bill will sky-rocket in the coming years, as these children who have been brought up on KFC and sugary drinks in plastic bottles reach adulthood. Heart disease and all other ailments connected to obesity will cost the country greatly – not only in financial terms but in heartbreak and misery.

  14. September 1, 2017

    Couple years past, an international survey showed that on per capita, Dominica, Trinidad and Barbados are on the top 25 list. Fast foods, soda and the TV adds up to be the major culprit for both adult and child obesity. having KFC directly facing the healthy market, says it all. Bob D.

  15. Harvey
    September 1, 2017

    How Can you be concerned when is hotdogs and pancakes and juice they are offered in styroboam material? The feeding program is a Wonderful idea but we have to teach our children Well. We should look into providing milk for all children and discourage juice for snacks. Or even better water!

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