Weighing in on obesity

If I might be allowed to add a few observations to the article printed about Dr. Coy and his concerns over the level of obesity on the island.

I find it difficult to understand why the Government has granted planning permission to Burger King and Wendy’s to build outlets next to four schools in Walkers Road, George Town.

All but the dimmest individual on the planet would realise that this was not a great idea and was likely to encourage school children to frequent these outlets, which sell predominantly high fat, high cholesterol, high calorie foods.

Sadly all this does, is increase childhood obesity and educates the young people to think that eating this rubbish is acceptable and normal.

I am so saddened that the schools have not objected to these outlets being built in such proximity (in Europe, I understand that this would not be allowed by law).

It might also seem sensible to have compulsory daily sport/nutrition education, as part of the school curriculum and expect all pupils to graduate with passes in a specific sport or with a certain level of physical fitness and awareness of how to eat healthily.

This would certainly help them realise that health and fitness are inter-related with academic achievement, it would also help them to lead healthier, more fulfilled lives, increase their self esteem and ultimately create less demand on the Health Services and financial burden on the Government and the people of the Cayman Islands.

None of this is rocket science and it should all have been blatantly obvious to the Government from the outset, but then again, perhaps some of them might also benefit from dietary and fitness education themselves.

This whole problem could possibly be turned around in one generation, if the collective will existed and the determination of all, especially the parents, was made evident to the Government.

The alternative is a nation where the next generation will begin to die before their parents!

Andrew Ward

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