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Survey to capture eating patterns in OTs

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The survey aims to help inform health policy (Image supplied)

Bermuda residents are being asked to participate in a study on dietary habits in British Overseas Territories.

Hannah Jones, a locally registered dietitian and doctoral candidate at the Department of Population Health Sciences at Newcastle University, is also including in the study the Caymans, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, and Turks & Caicos to gain an understanding of their diverse dietary practices.

The survey is aimed at any Bermuda resident aged from 14 to 49 years and gathers information on what they have eaten on three different days, two weekdays and one weekend day.

Upon signing up via a survey link or QR code, participants will be asked some background questions and will then be e-mailed a personal link to the online dietary recall tool.

The survey is now live and will run until February 28.

Ms Jones said: “Many diet and lifestyle-related health issues, such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and other cardiovascular disease risk factors, which were previously seen developing in middle-aged people, are now being seen in young people and more often.

“It is essential that local health and nutrition policies are based upon relevant data that reflects the needs of their individual population. There is a lack of information across the British Overseas Territories about dietary habits, dietary/nutrient intake data and how this might be affecting the health of their populations.

“Without local data, it is difficult for policymakers to ensure that policies and strategies have the intended impacts and outcomes for their unique communities.

“Understanding what and how the population eats and drinks is important to help inform the development of localised policies and public health strategies.”

Ms Jones said that data from the surveys will be used to create country-specific reports, providing information that has not previously been available.

Ms Jones added: “The main aim is really to try to understand how people in Bermuda eat, which foods and drinks they choose, the typical meals they eat, their meal patterns and their general health.

“This anonymised information will be used to create a report which we hope can be used to inform Bermuda’s own national health, nutrition and public health policies, and health promotion activities, so that they reflect the needs and habits of our own population.

“Of course, as a pilot survey, we are also trying to see if this strategy and method works for the population, and produces relevant, useful dietary and health information. This will be useful for making decisions about collecting health and nutrition data in the future.

“If participants complete all three days of diet recall, they will be able to get a nutrition report based on their own diet logs. This nutrition report offers some great visual information about key dietary indicators, types and quantities of foods eaten from different food groups, and how their consumption compares to USDA guidelines for a variety of nutrients.”

David Kendell, director of the Ministry of Health, urged residents to take part, saying: "Although the Ministry of Health is not involved in this survey and won't have access to any personal data provided, we endorse academic initiatives striving to enhance our comprehension of the health and wellness of our population.

“The upcoming Steps to a Well Bermuda survey, conducted by the Ministry of Health in the coming months, aims to assess the overall health of the population. By looking at the data from both this survey and the ministry's survey, evidence-based policies and interventions may be formulated to alleviate the impact of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and hypertension in our community.”

For more information, to register and to complete the background/demographic questions, click here or scan the QR code below.

Questions about the surveys should be directed to Hannah Jones on h.jones19@newcastle.ac.uk

Scan for more information (Image supplied)

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Published February 23, 2024 at 11:00 am (Updated February 23, 2024 at 8:39 am)

Survey to capture eating patterns in OTs

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