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Islanders are urged to adopt healthier diets

The Health Department is hoping that new dietary guidelines will help improve Bermuda's eating habits.

The Bermuda Dietitians Association is developing the guidelines, which are to launch this month on its new website, www.eatwellbermuda.org.

Health Minister Zane DeSilva said the hope is to encourage residents to focus on nutrition-related issues and become familiar with the new guidelines and website as the Island celebrates March as Nutrition Month.

He said: “The new dietary guidelines are currently being developed by the Bermuda Dietitians Association during a time of increasing concern about the health of Bermuda's population.

“Bermuda is experiencing an epidemic of overweight and obese citizens and this affects all ages. Poor diet and insufficient physical activity is associated with several major illnesses on the Island, the most notable of which are diabetes and its attendant and congestive heart failure, both of which can ultimately lead to death.”

The Well Bermuda National Health Promotion Strategy has reported that 63 percent of adults in Bermuda are above a normal body weight for their height; 36 percent of five to ten are overweight or obese and 25 percent of 11-17 year olds are overweight or obese, Mr DeSilva said.

“To correct this problem, Bermudians must make significant changes to their eating habits and lifestyles. Therefore the public health nutritionists and the [King Edward VII Memorial Hospital] dietitians have partnered to develop guidelines specific for, relevant to, and reflective of the Bermudian population…giving us the new 'Bermuda Dietary Guidelines'.

“These guidelines recognise that all sectors of our community, including individuals, families, educators, health professionals, businesses and policy makers, contribute to the nutritional environments in which we live.”

Residents will also be able to find healthy recipes, a body mass calculator and a list of registered dietitians on www.eatwellbermuda.org, Mr DeSilva added.

“I would urge all residents to visit this new site and to cast their vote on the new format for Bermuda's healthy eating guidelines,” he said.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published March 11, 2011 at 9:00 am (Updated March 11, 2011 at 8:59 am)

Islanders are urged to adopt healthier diets

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