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Healthy lifestyle promoted at DPT Wellness Day

Women in Bermuda have the highest rate of diabetes-related lower extremity amputations out of all the 30 countries in the OECD.That was one of the facts highlighted by Health Minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin at the Department of Public Transportation’s third Wellness Day. She noted that heart disease is still the number one cause of death in Bermuda.The event, held at the DPT headquarters yesterday featured a host of free health screenings including mini foot exams, lung functions tests and other tests.During the next 30 days the Complete Health Improvement Programme known as CHIP will be promoting healthy lifestyle choices to prevent or reverse chronic western lifestyle diseases. The list includes diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, heart disease and obesity and the programme is facilitated biannually by DPT Wellness Coordinator Beverley Howell.In her address, the Minister said: “In 2007, 47 percent of all deaths were due to cardio vascular disease. That’s almost half of all the deaths on this Island,” said Ms Pamplin-Gordon.“According to the 2011 Health in Review Report, obesity, diabetes and congestive heart failure continue to plague our Island at alarming rates — rates above the average for OECD countries,” she said.And while Bermuda has a high amputation rate she added: “Of further concern, the report shows that 24 percent of Bermudian adults are considered obese while 19 percent of Bermudians (aged 11 to 18) are considered overweight or obese.“These numbers are startling — and are one of the reasons why events like today’s are so important in our community.”Organiser and Wellness Coordinator Nurse Beverley Howell partnered with healthcare providers to host the event yesterday. Participants included Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre, Centre Against Abuse, the Beresford Swan Dialysis Unit, Bermuda International Eye Institute, Caesar’s Pharmacy, the Vegetarian Society of Bermuda and several others.Participants were given a passport to be stamped at the various health booths. On completion of a 90 percent minimum booth visitation they received a ‘giveaway’ and were entered into a draw for small prizes.