BARBADOS– New nutrition policy for schools to be launched next week

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The Barbados School Nutrition Policy, created and approved by Cabinet in May 2022, will be rolled out on Wednesday, February 15.

The policy was developed as many have voiced concern about the exponential rise of obesity among school-aged children.

It was developed as a guide for school administrators, teachers, canteen concessionaires, and vendors to plan healthy meals and snacks for students.

However, its goal is to create healthy school environments that enhance student learning and are conducive to developing healthy lifelong eating and activity behaviors through a multi-sectoral and integrated approach.

Local research has revealed that 32 percent of adolescents are overweight, while 14 percent are obese.

This research also confirms that the situation in Barbados stems from changing dietary habits and sedentary behaviors. It notes that these practices, once adopted in the adolescent years, will continue into adulthood, predisposing persons to non-communicable diseases.

It is also noted that based on statistics from the 2020 Global Nutrition Report, Barbados experienced undernutrition among its under-five population. Based on this, the government is encouraging citizens to embrace positive lifestyle behaviors.

The Barbados School Nutrition Policy is expected to be introduced to all schools this academic year 2022-2023 and in a phased approach.

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