50 Linden seniors receive healthy diet tips

DPI, Guyana, Friday, June 29, 2018

The Ministry of Public Health’s Food Policy Division today launched its revised Food-Based Dietary Guidelines programme catering to senior citizens in the Linden area.

Fifty elderly people from various clubs and health centres around Linden benefited from today’s program held in the LEN building in Mackenzie, Linden.

The programme is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Health and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.

Coordinator of the programme and Nutritionist, Annalise Roman-Benn told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that in part, it aims to create healthier eating habits and an active lifestyle in order to prevent chronic nutrition-related diseases among Guyanese.

“… this workshop was designed with seniors in mind, hoping to spread new awareness of these revised food dietary guidelines. We thought it fit to target the seniors first as often times they tend to be forgotten; they too are important. We are hoping to get everybody out so that we can educate them and impart the knowledge of the guidelines.”

Dr Salome Henry, a general medical officer of the One Mile Heath Center, said the guidelines are developed to prevent and target obesity and reduce the occurrence of non-communicable diseases and to promote healthy choices.

“We are highlighting the senior citizens of Linden, I think it’s a very good initiative. In my practice I’ve seen a whole lot of elderly and have had to deal with them, especially those who have diabetes, choosing foods [that are not healthy], this is a good effort and I’m looking forward to our elderly being able to grasp the full opportunity of [this programme].”

Among the general advice are that mothers are encouraged to breastfeed babies for the first six months; eat food from all the food groups daily; eat a wider variety of fruits and vegetables; limit the use of sugary foods and sweetened drinks; use more natural seasonings and less salt and salty products; reduce intake of oily and fatty foods; and to do 30 minutes of physical activity daily.

The Food-Based Dietary Guidelines (FBDGs) are the Ministry of Health’s recommendations for eating in Guyana to maintain health and well-being.

By: Nateshia Isaacs.

Images: Jules Gibson.