JM | Mar 2, 2023

‘Fuel your future’ during National Nutrition Month

Vanassa McKenzie

Vanassa McKenzie / Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes

During March of each year, the world commemorates National Nutrition Month. This public education campaign seeks to bring public awareness on making the right diet and physical activity choices.

This year’s campaign is being championed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics under the theme Fuel for the Future which is a timely theme that takes into consideration the healthy eating habits of individuals while protecting the environment.

As part of this year’s celebration, individuals are urged to make informed food choices to reduce ailments such as non-communicable diseases while creating a sustainable environment.

It is the social responsibility of each citizen to maintain a clean and safe environment that will be safe for future generations.

How to make informed food choices while protecting the environment?

  • Include more plant-based food in your diet while cutting back on snacks.
  • Eat a wide variety of foods from all five food groups.
  • Cut back on plastic use.
  • Practice backyard farming to grow your own food.
  • Cut back on the use of harmful chemicals used for farming such as nitrogen, nitrates, phosphates and phosphorous which are harmful to the environment.
  • Eat foods that are in season.
  • Buy local foods

Make your health your number one priority

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are one of the leading causes of death around the world and pose threats to development in low-income countries. These diseases are not passed from one person to the next but are developed through lifestyle choices.

They include hypertension, diabetes, cancers and chronic lung disease.

According to the Ministry of Health and Wellness, In 2017, NCDs accounted for the top five leading causes of death in Jamaica: stroke, diabetes, ischaemic heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease (a type of dementia) and interpersonal violence.

In earlier weeks, portfolio minister Dr Christopher Tufton noted that the COVID-19 pandemic was the catalyst, but not the only cause of most of the over seven million deaths linked to COVID-19 over the past two and a half years.

According to Tufton, most of these deaths was a result of persons suffering from compromised immune systems from lifestyle-related illness like diabetes, lung diseases, cancers and cardiovascular complications.

This, he continued, should cause us all to see lifestyle diseases as an even bigger threat to life than the COVID virus.

Healthy lifestyle tips

  • Cut down on your salt and sugar intake
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Limit your intake of unhealthy foods
  • Drink more water
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get enough sleep


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