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Aug 23

CARIBBEAN WELLNESS WEEK 2018 FOCUSES ON MAINTAINING A HEALTHY WORKFORCE THROUGH DIET AND MOVEMENT

Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 21, 2017 (SKNIS): With a mission to reduce the prominent issues arising with Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Ministry of Health has a packed week of activities for Caribbean Wellness Week 2018, which will be celebrated from September 8 – 14 under the theme, “Maintaining a Healthy Workforce through Movement and Diet” and the slogan “SKN-Nation on the Move.”

The burden of NCDs is posing a tremendous challenge to the economy with 83% of deaths in the Federation being attributed to NCDs among persons between 30 – 70 years of age which is a real threat to the health of working age adults. The Ministry of Health is focusing on promoting movement and healthy eating, which are two critical steps towards reducing the risk of NCDs to create a healthier, happier nation.

Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Hazel Laws, said that Caribbean Wellness Week is an initiative aimed at promoting health and wellness to motivate the public to make healthy lifestyle choices.

“During Caribbean Wellness Week, we will encourage/motivate the public to make healthy lifestyle choices regarding four risk factors,” she said, while noting that based on medical evidence, there are four modifiable behavioral risk factors that lead to the development of NCDs, which are physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, harmful use of alcohol and use of tobacco.

She emphasized that this year, the ministry’s focus is on promoting at least two and a half hours of moderate exercise per week and eating more plant based and unprocessed foods, including at least three servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

“This year we want to stimulate more physical activity and exercise and we want to motivate more healthy eating habits among our people. Life is a choice. Our lives become defined by our choices. If we exercise and eat right, we will enjoy better health outcomes. It’s as simple and as complex as that,” she added.

Activities taking place for this year’s Caribbean Wellness Week includes Caribbean Wellness Day Walk on September 08 starting from 5:00am; Faith-Based Health Screening at local churches on September 09; Health and Family Life Endurance Test being spearheaded by the Ministry of Education on September 10; “Take 5” Nutrition Programme Campaign on September 11; Day of Rest on September 12; National Health and Wellness Fair on September 13; and National Sneaker Day and Soca-cise workout at the St. Kitts Marriot on September 14.

The Chief Medical officer encouraged person to make use of social media and use the hashtag #SKNonthemove&eatingright during Caribbean Wellness Week and share how they are staying on the move and maintaining a healthy diet.

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