Health ministry encourages healthier environments

| 31/05/2012

1002-w-office-snacks-l (236x300).jpg(CNS): Forethought, planning and organization are vital in creating healthier environments, according to the ministry of health which is encouraging all government departments, private sector companies, schools and community groups to develop or renew health and wellness policies to collectively facilitate better health for everyone. Marking Caribbean Nutrition Day Friday, Minister of Health, Mark Scotland added that “with changes in lifestyle such as healthy eating and physical activity, we can achieve greater success in improving the health of the nation.” This year’s theme “Healthy Eating and Active Living: Create an Enabling School/Work/Community Environment” is in line, ministry officials said with the Public Health Department’s Be Fit Cayman! wellness campaign which waslaunched last year.

In support of Caribbean Nutrition Day the Health Services Authority and partners have planned for the following activities including promotion on local radio, selected food promotions at local supermarkets, healthy hot lunch options in the Pink Ladies Cafeteria at the Hospital and fresh fruits and salads only for lunch in government schools Friday. 

Research has shown that a health promoting environment plays an important role in the development and maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. A health promoting environment is characterized by easy access to health promoting facilities, activities, and options and where people can routinely model healthy behaviours.

This includes workplace wellness policies that offer discounted gym memberships and stock refreshment areas with healthier food and drink options create a health promoting environment. Schools that implement and follow sound nutritional standards in canteens and fundraising events are another example of a health promoting environment as are communities which plan for pedestrian sidewalks and outdoor play areas for children.

For further information on developing workplace or school wellness policies, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/index.htm. To participate in the Workplace wellness programme of the Cayman Islands undertaken by the Public Health Department visit www.ministryofhealth.ky

Officials said that the local government has taken steps to promote healthy environments with the development of policies such as Take the Challenge Workplace Health and Wellness Program (C.I. Ministry of Health and the Public Health Department, 2006), Be Fit Cayman! Health and Wellness Campaign (C.I. Ministry of Health and the Public Health Department, 2011), “C.I. Public Schools: Standards for Food Provisions” (C. I. Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health and Health Services Authority Nutrition Services, 2010), Health4Youth pilot program (C.I. Ministry of Health and the Child Health Task Force, 2009), Tobacco Law 2008 and Tobacco Regulations 2010 (C.I. Ministry of Health and Public Health Department) and the Extended After School Programme for High School Students (C.I. Ministry of Education, 2011)

Category: Health

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