As the Health authorities get ready to celebrate exercise and eating right as a part of healthy living, Jamaicans are being told that non communicable diseases (NCDs) have emerged over the last 30 years as the leading cause of death in Jamaica.
Among those killers are cardiovascular diseases, heart attack and stroke, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes.
World Move for Health Day is being celebrated on Thursday, May 10, when focus will be placed on the benefits of healthy eating and exercise.
The claim was again made by Regional Health Promotion and Education Officer at the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA), Marceleen Wheatle.
Ms. Wheatle says the Health Ministry continues to push healthy eating and physical activity as the primary tools in the fight against the NCDs. She was speaking at a JIS Think Tank in Montego Bay, St James.
“Physical activity plays a highly significant role in achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle,” she said. Ms. Wheatle said the prevalence of NCDs is increasing throughout the world.
“These diseases share four common behavioural risk factors, namely, tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol,” she said.
Acting Parish Health and Promotion and Education Officer, Julian Grandison-Mullings, said the ‘Jamaica Moves’ campaign, which was launched by the Ministry of Health, has helped to garner the interest of persons and keep physical activity on the health agenda.
She said the gains from the campaign will be reinforced through the staging of World Move for Health Day on Thursday, May 10.
The St. James Public Health Services is collaborating with the Ministry on the staging of a day of activity at Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay.
Activities include celebrity cook-off, kiddies’ village, body massage, beauty makeover, best fitness outfit and fitness competitions, and sharing of fitness testimonials.