Nutrition counselling on the cards to promote healthier lifestyles

– Minister Anthony

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony, says the Government intends to place much more focus on nutrition as it aims to empower Guyanese to make healthier food choices to ensure healthier lifestyles.

Minister Anthony said the Presidential Commission on Non-Communicable Diseases, which was reappointed on Wednesday, is mandated to raise awareness about chronic diseases and to advise the government on policies and legislation. However, it would also by providing nutrition counselling to the public, he said, during Thursday’s COVID-19 update.

“We got to educate the public on what is nutritious. I think a lot of people have the misconception that sometimes you go and you have fast food, and that’s good occasionally, that’s not a bad thing to have, but you know, we have to emphasise the importance of having fruits and vegetables and things like that in your diet, because that’s an important part of your diet.”

Dr. Anthony said much work has to be done to educate the public about balanced diets, particularly as the pandemic prevails.

“We have moved from a diet in the past, where we were eating more fish and vegetables and so forth, which was a really good and healthy diet, we have moved away from that to one where we are now eating things that can put us at risk for a number of diseases… So it’s an education process and hopefully we can get people, have [them] understand the risks and benefits of changing their diet that we will get them to adapt this change in diet and lifestyle.”  

Minister Anthony said work would be ongoing in this endeavour over the years to prevent premature deaths resulting from poor nutrition.

“We will be working on those, and we want to build partnerships with NGOs and other organisations who would have an interest in this area.”

Dr. Anthony said knowledgeable persons would be recruited to offer advice and to assist is the programme the Ministry will eventually set up. He said the Commission is also expected to liaise with organisations and communities to ensure a wider reach and to save lives.

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