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Posted: Friday 3 February, 2012 at 10:30 AM
Logon to Montserrat News 
Press Release

    BRADES, Montserrat, February 2nd, 2012 - Childhood obesity and overweight is an emerging problem in Montserrat says the Ministry of Health and a screening programme has begun to decrease the disease burden among youth.


    Childhood obesity is a condition where excess body fat negatively affects a child's health or wellbeing. As methods to determine body fat directly are difficult, the diagnosis of obesity is often based on Basic metabolic rate (BMI). “Due to the rising prevalence of obesity in children and its many adverse health effects it is being recognized as a serious public health concern,” a statement from the ministry said.


    One of the Ministry’s objectives in the 2011-2012 Operational Plan is to strengthen the Maternal and Child Health Programme through enhanced strategies to address childhood obesity by March 2012.  This will enable the staff to collect data on the BMI for the seven to nine year olds and also increase the opportunity for interventions such as counselling and or exercise programs and referrals.


    The programme commenced on the 23rd January with 66 children seen at Look Out Primary School and 61 at Brades Primary on the 25th January.  St Augustine Primary School and Lighthouse Academy are yet to consent for the exercise to be conducted at their School.


    A statement from the ministry said “the first problems to occur in obese children are usually emotional or psychological. Childhood obesity however can also lead to life-threatening conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, sleeping problems, cancer and other disorders.


    It is the Ministry’s goal to address obesity and detect as early as possible and correct any correctable defects that are present at this stage of your child’s life.”


    Parents/Guardians who are concerned about their child/ children’s weight should contact their District Nurse or make an appointment to see the Nutritionist.









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