Focus on behaviours at diabetes talk
An obesity expert is on a mission to get residents to own their health and recognise self-destructive behaviours.
Jane DeVille-Almond will share tips on what people can do to tackle obesity and diabetes at the Ministry of Health’s Commit to Change event this evening.
She said: “We are born with a body and that body is often perfect. Rather than looking after that perfect body, we wreck it.
“We give it poisonous things and make that body bad. It’s not like a car where you can buy a new carburettor or a new tyre or a new wheel; when you wreck your body, it doesn’t get better.
“So I am really trying to get people to see it’s something they should look after, and to recognise that self-destructive behaviour.”
“I also want to get them to realise that this isn’t anybody else’s problem, this is their problem. You’ve got to own it.”
The registered nurse and chairwoman of the British Obesity Society pointed out that Bermuda has one of the highest rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes in the western world.
According to the 2014 Steps to a Well Bermuda survey, 75 per cent of adults were overweight or obese and 12 per cent of those surveyed had diabetes.
Ms DeVille-Almond said: “It’s interesting because you’ve got all the attributes of having this beautiful island where people can do physical activity on the beaches and can go swimming.
“It’s not a dangerous community, it’s not a dangerous environment and it’s a wealthy community and here we are, with an island that’s got everything and people seem to slowly be killing themselves.”
Ms DeVille-Almond, who also spoke to healthcare professionals and others as part of the symposium on halting the rise of obesity and diabetes, said today’s public event will focus on shifting people’s mindsets.
She added: “It’s not about giving up things that you like, it’s about actually getting even more out of life than you could have possibly imagined, so it’s about gaining stuff.
“What people often say is ‘oh, I’m going to have to give up alcohol’. But what have you gained?
“Your skin is probably better, your hair is probably better, you probably have a better sex life, you’re awake more.”
She said the event was aimed at everyone, and those who attend should expect to come together to learn what they can do to tackle the problem.
Ms DeVille-Almond added: “It’s all about people zoning in on the personalities and working out what they can do in themselves for themselves.
“This is your personal problem and people should come and expect to be hopefully encouraged to realise that they’ve actually got all the tools within themselves to make these changes and improve not only their life, but possibly the lives of their families and children because, as adults, we lead by example.”
Ms DeVille-Almond said a motivational approach “definitely makes a difference” and added that group interventions had been shown to be more effective than individual approaches.
She added: “The idea of tomorrow night is that this is a group of people that are all in it together, they’re all doing their own things but they are all in it together.
“It’s going to be a great way of mixing with other people, mixing with new friends, seeing what you can all do together to make this beautiful island not just beautiful to look at but beautiful from within.
“It’s about getting people to be proud of the island, to be proud of being a Bermudian and to own your own health.”
The free event, which will be streamed live on www.facebook.com/BermudaGovernment, will be held in the Princess Ballroom at the Hamilton Princess Hotel and Beach Club from 6.30pm to 8pm.
Free health screenings will take place from 5pm to 6pm. For more information, call 278-4900 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org