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FaN Project Reports on the Rise in Childhood Obesity of the Caribbean

12 Oct

FaN Project Reports on the Rise in Childhood Obesity of the Caribbean 

Professor Alafia Samuels is the principal investigator of the Food and Nutrition (FaN) Project. And FaN Project is working on a plan to address the unhealthy eating habits of Caribbean children. The main culprit is poor eating habits which are impacting the physical and mental health of these children. 

Professor Samuels said the reason for the increase in obesity is the consumption of primarily ultra-processed foods. These foods include what you would expect: hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza, sugars, sweets, and beverages. And the problem is becoming another epidemic for Jamaicans to combat. 

Statistics reported from this report were listed as follows: 

  • 20% of these kids will have high blood pressure. 
  • They are more prone to heart disease. 
  • Obesity can lead to diabetes in adulthood. 
  • Depression and bullying are increased in those obese students. 
  • And more. 

However, the people of the FaN Project are working with CARICOM and the Caribbean Institute for Health Research, UWI, Jamaica, to educate the youth of Jamaica and the Caribbean at large. Additionally, they have revised the Health and Family Life Curriculum for all primary schools. 

FaN Project Involves the Children in Competition 

In efforts to increase awareness and encourage healthy lives among the children of the Caribbean, FaN has launched a story writing competition. This competition includes students ages seven to 17 from Jamaica, Barbados, and St. Kitts and Nevis. 

The students are to write a 500 -word “short story” following a set of prompts. The first round of entries is due Friday, September 17. And in the end, five winners will be selected awarded a Dell laptop. Additionally, teachers who assisted the winners would be eligible for a US $500 prize. 

According to Food4Change Caribbean, the competition looks like this. 

“This year’s Food4ChangeCaribbean Story Writing Competition is split into two stages. 

  • Stage 1: Apply to the Competition by writing a 500-word Short Story based on an illustration provided. 
  • Judging of Short Stories and selection of 50 students to join Stage 2. 
  • Stage 2: Attend a Zoom training/brainstorming session and then write a 1,000-word Long Story based on HFLE learning objectives. 
  • Judging of Long Stories and selection of 5 winners of laptops.” 

For more information or to enter the competition, simply click on this link: Food4Change. Let’s all do our part to teach the youth of the Caribbean about healthy food choices.