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Economy proving bad for Bajans’ health

Barbadians’ stress levels are going up and one wellness consultant says the economic situation in the country is partly to blame.

“Without enough money, people cannot get a lot of things done, they get stressed, it breaks up relationships, etcetera,” warned Elizabeth Ward, proprietor of Genuine Herbs and Wellness.

She acknowledged that a lack of exercise was also a contributing factor, but emphasized that the present inability of many to make ends was a major stress trigger.

“Many people overeat or crave the wrong food when they are emotionally stressed, psychological stressed, and there is also physical stress . . . .When people are stressed it sends up the cortisol levels, which is the stress hormone.”

said Ward, who is also a personal trainer. She added that this leads to people becoming overweight and developing non-communicable diseases and other health challenges.

“It is like a vicious cycle, so we have to get people moving more . . . . Besides the unhealthy food that people are eating, they can also develop toxins in the body just by being stressed,” she cautioned.

Ward said finding ways to supplement income was one way of tackling stress that is triggered by money concerns. She also suggested that authorities provide free therapy to help people control their stress levels.

“People need therapy. They are hurting. With all the stress, they need hope,” she said.

Ward was speaking to Barbados TODAY at a recent showcase where her business exhibited its range of products.

She said she started her dietary supplement company about a year ago after recognizing that Barbadians needed help dealing with obesity, stress and other ailments.

“I was inspired mainly because of feeling saddened when I looked around and realized the rate of obesity in Barbados. It is at an alarming rate and you can feel the stress that people are going through and they are looking for comfort. They go to food, they go to alcohol, substance abuse and all of these things,” the businesswoman said.

“I decided ‘okay, there is a great need for people to get their weight down’. I am a big advocate of physical exercise . . . but the problem is, it is difficult to get people to get up and get moving as they should. And it is difficult not only because they may not be motivated, but a lot of people are working more than one job and they just don’t have the time, and they need help and it has to be with safe products.”

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