JIS: The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information is finalizing development of the proposed National School Nutrition Policy.
Portfolio Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, said work to develop the Policy, which aims to promote healthy eating and physical activity in schools particularly among students, was initially slated for completion this month (January 2019).
“But we still have some fine-tuning [to do]. As such, we decided to roll out the restriction of sugary drinks before,” he said.
The Minister was speaking at a forum on ‘Sugars, Other Carbohydrates and Fats – Their Contribution to Obesity… and Effective Solutions’, at the Spanish Court Hotel, New Kingston, on January 11.
Senator Reid said the Policy seeks to improve the nutritional status of children and support their long-term physical and psychosocial development.
Additionally, he said it forms part of the Government’s broader approach to promoting healthy choices in and out of school for children and youth, by equipping them with the requisite knowledge and skills to make better decisions regarding diet and physical activity.
“It is only fitting that this is done, as our Ministry has direct contact with the children who will, in turn, become adults,” the Minister stated.
Meanwhile, Senator Reid said the National School Nutrition Standards, being developed by the Ministry of Health, will support implementation of the nutrition-related aspects of the Policy.
It will outline the recommended nutrient standards for meals; non-meal items, such as snacks; and beverages.
The Standards will, eventually, be incorporated into the existing National School Feeding Programme.
CAPTION: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator Hon. Ruel Reid (left), and Executive Director of the Heart Foundation of Jamaica, Deborah Chen, peruse details on the label of a beverage bottle, during a forum on ‘Sugars, Other Carbohydrates and Fats - Their Contribution to Obesity… and Effective Solutions’, at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on Jan. 11.