Project fighting obesity in kids moves into 2nd year

| 05/10/2010

(CNS): The Children’s Health Task Force (CHTF) Health4Youth Programme has moved into the second year of the two year pilot programme designed to help fight childhood obesity in the Cayman Islands. Following a group of students from Year 7 at George Hicks, the project aims to chart the improvements in the children’s health as a result of better diet and more exercise. A joint effort between health insurers, NGOs and the HSA, the students were actively engaged in nutritional counselling and an after school exercise program. Feedback so far has revealed that the students have increased energy levels as well as improved stamina in sports, sleep patterns, self esteem and motivation to continue exercise and sport.

“The CHTF team is very pleased with the progress of the program to date,” said Maureen Cubbon, one of the programme coordinators. “We saw some great success at the end of year 1 and have seen the direction we need to take in order to continue the program successfully.”
The goal for this year is to continue with the pilot group of students and work on engaging parents. “With the continued support of our sponsors, we are able to continue this critical program that will give us some tangible results and some direction on how to fight the rising epidemic of childhood obesity in the Cayman Islands,” Cubbon added.
The Health4Youth Programme has also worked with the Ministry of Education to the Standards for Food Provisions (CISFP) which has seen fast food banned from school campuses and healthier meal options on offer during lunch and snack breaks in government school canteens. The document lists 11 standards as guidelines for the different types of food groups and details items that should and shouldn’t be served in school. It also outlines the frequency with which certain foods should be offered. Serving and good practice suggestions are also outlined.
“Poor childhood nutrition can have lasting effects, impairing cognitive development and school performance,” Education Minister Rolston Anglin said.  “This is our opportunity to make a measurable difference in student health and well-being. Research consistently shows that children who eat healthier meals perform better academically and are absent from classes less often."
The Health4Youth Programme is a collaborative effort between the Cayman Heart Fund, Generali Worldwide, TrinCay Medical, Rotary Sunrise, Cayman Islands Health Services Authority and Body Sculptor. For information on the Health4Youth Program, please contact Maureen Cubbon at Generali Worldwide: 747-2002 or or Dr. Sook Yin at: l or 516-1237.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    I have the easiest cure for obesity. How about feeding your children 4 Happy meals a week instead of 5! Its not a disease..its a life style choice. People dont get fat from eating fruits and vegetables!

    • Anonymous says:

      4 happy Meals a week is still too much to maintain health, only one per week as a weekend treat!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I would suggest that interested persons check out the new website that Maureen is doing.  The handouts/fun links section has some useful info.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I support this kind of initiative, however I was reading just today in the Globe and Mail how these plans were just driving the kids to go eat at Burger King.

    In primary school it is a great idea, once the kids get older either offer choice or lose the customer.

  4. Fluffy Stuff says:

    Why don’t you send Dennie down by the schools in the afternoon to take a picture of the lines outside the Ice Cream trucks? Healthy lunches, all negated by 3:15pm.

    Jupina and Fluffy Stuff sales are on the rise!

  5. lisa says:


    Is a child’s drug!  It is found in sodas, lollipops, chewing gum, candies, chocolate candies, artificial flavored drinks, and even poured in the recipe of certain local foods. Some family cook with lots of sugar. 

    Sugar is a DRUG!  It disrupts children’s concentration in the class room, they can’t keep still, and it prevents them from learning the way they should. Beleive it of not, it even attributes to early sexual activity. Also, it causes in them obesity, illnesses, and tooth decay.

    I just can’t understand how parents can just alow their children to fill their systems with unwholesome junk foods! Even at parties, parents should not allow their children to bring home the sweets…

    It is just a crying shame to see young caribbean girls who was once slim, by the time they reach teenage, they are already blown up!  FAT!  I understand being fat because it is in your genes, but much of the FATNESS I can tell you that is here, is attributed to an inactive lifestyle and what you eat!!! 🙁

    It is pure ignorance on the part of our parents. That is why crime is so rampantly increases, boys getting on drugs, and teenage pregnancies! IGNORANCE and the Education Department needs to start programs to educate the people. bye

  6. Need for Change says:

    I for one am extremely happy about this program, when my kids get up in the morning and are ready for school, the are asking for fruit salads and green salads, and no Momie that is not good for us and just watching what they eat! Great job!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hydrogenated fats should be banned by law for use in  food preparation in Cayman, as they have been in New York State and California I believe. The US parent companies must  be forced to release their replacement, more healthy cooking fats for use in the Caribbean, not just the US.

    We are poisoning our population with hydrogenated fats and sugary drinks, and any doctor will tell you of children in Cayman under ten years old with plaque in their arteries, like a fifty-year-old. The food industry is no better than the drug industry or the cigarette industry.  We love to refer to our our children as being our most  precious resource, while selling them addictive, arterial poison. And some parents allow it because they are too uncaring to cook healthy food for their children, or prepare  proper lunch boxes.

    What’s worse than knowingly damaging your childrens’ health by selling them poisonous fats and fizzy drinks? Doing it unknowingly, that’s what’s worse, because there is no excuse for nutritional ignorance these days. All the information is out there for those who care about their children. 

    Can you imagine the cost to Cayman over the coming decades, having to deal with obesity and diabetes? It’s a crime, and those involved in finding a solution are real heroes, caring and intelligent people, who understand the terrible implications over the long-term, both national and personal.