CHARLESTOWN, Nevis — The following is an address by Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, Junior Minister of Health in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) on the occasion of World Obesity Day 2021.
“World Obesity Day is celebrated on March 4 annually to create awareness about obesity and its harm to your overall health and body organs,” said Hon. Brandy-Williams. “This day also seeks to educate the public of various recommended actions that should be taken to combat obesity.
“Additionally, World Obesity Day encourages advocacy to change the way the disease is dealt with across our communities,” she said. “It calls for improvement of policies to ensure supportive environments, and promotes the sharing of experiences through various platforms to create a global community. This work is geared towards the goal of reducing overweight and obesity.
“Factors such as individual biology or genetic risk, access to care, access to ultra-processed foods, stressful life changing events among others, make managing obesity a challenge. Obesity is a major risk factor for chronic conditions like type-2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and certain cancers.
“World Obesity Day 2021 focuses on the global campaign ‘Every Body Needs Everybody.’ This campaign invites people around the world to collectively address this global crisis.
“We at the Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs will continue to work through the Health Promotion Unit and other community-based health services to raise awareness and to address the multiple aspects of obesity.
“In observance of World Obesity Day, our nurses and health educators participated in a capacity building consultation with their counterparts in St. Kitts. Another activity planned by the Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs is the ‘Fun Run in the Sun!’ This is a road relay and will be held on March 4. This is to encourage physical activity among all.
“In conclusion, we encourage communities and environments to be supportive, and to help others to make choices that will have long term benefits to our well-being,” concluded the minister. “Let us encourage and support each other in making healthy choices in food and physical activity. Our collective efforts will help to reverse the increasing trend of overweight and obesity and will lead to a healthier Nevisian community.”