According to a recent survey carried out by the World Health Organization in the framework of the European Initiative for the Monitoring of Childhood Obesity, Cyprus holds an extremely worrying first place in terms of the prevalence of overweight and obese children aged 7-9.
This was stated by the Minister of Health Popi Kanaris, noting that this demonstrates the magnitude of the problem and the necessity of addressing it immediately with targeted measures.
In her greeting at a press conference of the Association of Dietitians and Nutritionists of Cyprus on the occasion of World Nutrition Day, the Minister of Health emphasized that proper nutrition in combination with physical exercise contributes to protection against the occurrence of diseases, determining to a large extent the response of the human body to environmental and stressful changes and indicated that therefore a global approach is required that aims to promote and adopt correct life attitudes, which include proper nutrition, daily exercise and abstinence from habits such as smoking.
Mr. Kanaris said that this year's theme of the World Nutrition Day is "Let food be your medicine" refers us to the words formulated centuries ago by Hippocrates “Let medicine be your food and let your food be your medicine”, wanting, as he said, to highlight the importance of a healthy diet in maintaining the health of the body and in preventing diseases.
An opinion that, as he mentioned, is constantly recognized and is valid until today.
He also noted that in modern times the globalization of the economy and markets have contributed to the increase in the available quantity and variety of food offered to consumers, which resulted in consumers moving away from their traditional eating habits and adopting a lower quality diet rich in saturated fats, added sugars and salt.
The Minister explained that this change in eating habits has contributed to the increase in the incidence of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and an increase in obesity and strokes and some forms of cancer, but has also contributed to the dramatic increase in childhood obesity rates. obesity event, which causes huge concern at a global level.
In fact, as the Minister of Health added, Cyprus unfortunately has an extremely worrying first place in terms of the prevalence of overweight and obese children aged 7-9, according to a recent survey carried out by the World Health Organization in the context of the European Initiative for the Monitoring of Childhood Obesity. Something that, as he said, demonstrates the magnitude of the problem and the necessity of immediately addressing it with targeted measures.
Ms. Kanari continued by saying that at the international level it is also worth mentioning the fact that according to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion of the United States 6 out of 10 people in the US suffer from chronic diseases and 4 out of 10 people suffer from 2 or more chronic diseases. "These diseases are a major public health problem and are responsible for a significant number of deaths and disabilities" he said.
He noted that the Ministry of Health guided by the need to improve the quality of the diet of Cypriot citizens, he has included in his plans to deal with the problem, educational programs in schools and communities, indicating that special mention should be made of the “Become a Health Ambassador” Program, which is aimed at primary school children with the aim of adopting good life habits.
The Minister of Health added that since nutrition plays a decisive role in the prevention and management of chronic diseases, it is imperative to change our habits and adopt a healthy and balanced diet, indicating that this can be achieved by “returning to the diet of our tradition, the Mediterranean” diet that includes, among others, the use of olive oil and the consumption of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins such as fish, poultry and legumes.
"Treatment and prevention are generously offered to us by nature through our food. Let's let her be our medicine» he emphasized.
He added that the Ministry of Health, recognizing the need for continuous training, applauds, encourages and supports public awareness and information on issues that contribute to the prevention and protection of public health, such as proper nutrition.
Finally, he congratulated the Association of Dietitians and Nutritionists of Cyprus for this initiative and its ongoing actions, which, as he said, are not only complementary to the work of the Ministry, but also catalytic.
< p> Source: KYPE