The Nutrition Unit within the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs recently held a nutrition fair at the Piaye Secondary School aimed at providing students with information about healthy eating, active living and overall wellness.
Chief Nutritionist Lisa Hunt stressed on the importance of a healthy eating plan and staying physically active to prevent chronic non-communicable diseases.
“We are very happy to be here with you because the whole reason we are here is to instil healthy eating habits and we want persons to move more. As y’all are aware, every one of you students have someone you know with chronic diseases whether it is diabetes, hypertension, cancer or the other chronic diseases. And why do we have so many people burdened with these diseases? It is because we call it lifestyle diseases. They can be prevented. Up to 70% of them can be prevented. So what we eat and our lifestyle will determine our health.”
Minister for Health Hon Moses Jn Baptiste says he is pleased with this activity and expresses hope that lessons learnt at the fair will be used to change the chronic disease profile in Saint Lucia in the future.
“Exhibitions like this and workshops like this one I am hoping will cause you to realize the state of the kinds of problems we have in Saint Lucia. You are not too young to know about this and it is now that you have to make the decision, the changes in what we eat, how we exercise, how we treat living and healthy living to protect ourselves in the future.”
Students of the Piaye Secondary School shared their experiences at the nutrition fair.
Angel Mc Farlane said, “I felt good that they had a fair in the school because it helps us to know how to eat properly and how to maintain our body diet. My feedback from the fair is that I learned a couple of things. I learnt the percentage of salt and sugar some snacks contains; mostly the snacks I eat. They taught me how to be aware of that.”
Nakim Joseph said, “I felt the health fair was very important to us. It was very educational and told us about the risk out there for when we go later on about what we shouldn’t do, what we should do to keep our body healthy and for a long and healthy life.”
Petal Thomas said, “I think it is important to eat healthy cause as a student, we eat junk food every single day and today they came to show us a better way of eating. I think the fair was amazing, really appreciated it.”
The nutrition fair provided the students with information on nutrition, dental hygiene, substance abuse and stress management, to name a few.