Jamaicans are being urged to start making good nutritional choices to prevent comorbidities and chronic diseases, which remain the leading cause of death among Jamaicans.
“We must be careful as to what we put in our bodies,” said Past President of the Jamaica Association of Professionals in Nutrition and Dietetics (JAPINAD), Dr. Rosalee Brown.
She was addressing a Think Tank at the regional office of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) in Montego Bay, St James, on March 24.
JAPINAD is celebrating its 20th anniversary in March under the theme ‘Celebrating our diverse profession, showcasing our Jamaican flavours’.
Dr Brown noted that the entity seeks to encourage excellence in the practice of nutrition and dietetics and promote the professional image and interests of nutrition in collaboration with other healthcare professionals.
“In 2002, we were formed to promote healthy lifestyles. We are 100 members strong, who work alongside other healthcare professionals to help persons to understand the importance of nutrition to their health,” she said, adding that “our work takes us into the schools, churches and communities”.
Dr. Brown, who is a trained dietician, said it is important to maintain a public education programme where good eating habits become a part of the national consciousness.
She noted that as part of its 20th Anniversary, JAPINAD will be placing a lot more emphasis on the dangers of obesity and hypertension.
“We (JAPINAD) see the health of our population as very important. We also have to ensure that the correct information is being disseminated and not to confuse people or to have them consume anything that might be harmful,” she said.
“We have grown up in a culture, especially the younger population… where we eat mostly out of convenience… notably processed food… canned food. Our salt consumption patterns are a matter of concern… something we have been aggressively attacking.
JAPINAD has a responsibility here and will continue to work with our healthcare partners for a healthier Jamaica,” she added.