Govt slammed over ‘fat’ children

There are too many obese children in Barbados and Government must accept its fair share of blame, according to Chancellor of the University of the West Indies Sir George Alleyne.

Using his speech at the University of the West Indies (UWI) graduation ceremony on Saturday to address the issue of child obesity, Sir George lashed out at Government for not doing enough to ensure children eat less unhealthy foods.

“Any government which is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child is not faithful to the articles of that convention when they allow their children to become fat,” Sir George told the gathering at the Cave Hill Campus.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child changed the way children are viewed and treated, and is the most rapidly and widely ratified international human rights treaty in history, according to the UN children’s agency UNICEF.

It was the second time in one week that an accusing finger was being pointed at Government by an academic for failing to protect children from unhealthy foods.

Speaking on World Obesity Day on October 11, Director of the UWI Chronic Disease Research Centre Dr Alafia Samuels had revealed that nearly 2,500 children in Barbados suffered from hypertension because of obesity.

Stating that “too many of our children are eating too much and moving too little”, she said that in the Government schools, “one fast food company . . . even tried to entice customers at an early age with branded supplies (pens, pencils, calendars, etc) that students look at every day in their classrooms”.

Sir George raised the issue again on Saturday, saying he had applauded the administration when it introduced the tax on sweet drinks, “but at the same time I pointed out that the state that allows its children to be exposed to advertisements for the very foods that make them fat, [that] state is not protecting the rights of the child”.

The Chancellor did not allow the adult population to get away lightly either, claiming that they, too, were violating their children’s rights by allowing them to become overweight.

“To the extent that adults allow their children to get fat, that is an abrogation of the child’s human rights, because children who are fat are storing up for themselves major problems in adulthood . . . they are storing up for the state major expenditure down the road in the area of chronic diseases.”

Worryingly, Sir George suggested, the Barbadian public was displaying a sense of apathy in this matter.

The former director of the Pan American Health Organization also called for the establishment of effective systems to emphasize the need to protect children from obesity and the associated health problems.

14 Responses to Govt slammed over ‘fat’ children

  1. Malcolm Marcelle
    Malcolm Marcelle October 18, 2016 at 4:35 am

    Blame the American influence fast good snd gun crime .

    The American dream, baby .

  2. Zabeeda Abdool
    Zabeeda Abdool October 18, 2016 at 6:32 am

    This is ridiculous….stop blaming….eating healthy is good but poor ppl cannot eat healthy….every darn healthy stuff is expensive….fit wanna self in poor ppl shoe then talk….

  3. harry turnover October 18, 2016 at 7:55 am

    Sir George Alleyne you talking a whole heap of RUBBISH. How do children get fat ? by NOT EATING ??…do the children go into the supermarkets and purchase food, go home and cook it ?
    Who cook for children ?…THEIR PARENTS…the children have to eat WHAT THEY PARENTS PUT IN FRONT OF THEM…so blame the PARENTS not Governments….EAT IN MODERATION and ya won’t get fat.
    NOBODY gets fat by consuming soft drinks and snacks ALONE, otherwise there would be more FAT children than normal weight children.

  4. BoboTheClown October 18, 2016 at 8:07 am

    There is too much of the “Donald Trump’s “theory going around. Blame it on some one else,and if you do it often enough it will become believable.
    Every soft drink sold in Barbados laced with an abundance of sugar. If you are in a food court or restaurant , for adults and children alike a soda seem to be the drink of choice. Then every little nook and cranny in Barbados has someone selling sweets, Pig tails, fried chicken and Macaroni pie with lots of Cheese added ,which seem to be the food of choice for lots of bajans.There is no wonder obesity has become such a huge problem . When i first traveled overseas I was in awe of the size of some people ,as Although i had seen large people before in Barbados,I had never seen so many huge people in close proximity.I am now witnessing the same in Barbados . There are so many overgrown,out of shape people in Barbados it is amazing .Not only are people big,and fat ,but you can see many seem, proud to be that way .There is little self esteem shown by some .
    I guess for some the bigger they are ,the better they feel .At least in their own minds,That until the Doctor let them know that being Diabetic is not a sickness to play with.

    • Meakai October 18, 2016 at 8:22 am

      So I take it that thin people are never afflicted with NCDs.

  5. Queenie ShaSha
    Queenie ShaSha October 18, 2016 at 8:19 am

    He’s not lying ,… the kids are overweight..a Bana costs $1…apples 75 cents 1.25…lettuce 6-9 ..futher,ore can be grown at home…I buy fruits and veggies from the farmers and plan to plant my own. ..snack costs $12…chips $2.00…ppl make choices being poor is not an excuse if your kid has a spray ground or her ache bag on his or her back…lol pplz kids walking around with the light bill water bill and the some of the groceries on their shoes and back but fruits and veggies expensive ..ok

    • Zabeeda Abdool
      Zabeeda Abdool October 18, 2016 at 9:09 am

      Lol….joke…those stuff is once a year or twice a year….come on…food is every day…..thing…

  6. Linda Fenty
    Linda Fenty October 18, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Eating healthy is expensive. Poor people can’t afford the really healthy foods because their money have to do so much. I try to eat healthy by cutting back on portion sizes for quality food. I buy vegetables and fruit that are in season . Eat less dairy products and sugary stuff I cut out completely. My children are adults so I don’t have to deal with feeding them on a low income. If we are serious about the weight problem in Barbados we definitely have to come up with a solution for our children and ourselves.

  7. Meakai October 18, 2016 at 8:41 am

    hypertension depressing to hear supposedly educated people constantly singing the fat anthem. Listen to them for any length of time and one would believe that every fat person has hypertension, diabetes and sedentary.

    While there is some merit in the fat sermons, sensible people know that there are more factors involved in determining who becomes fat and who develops what.

  8. Meakai October 18, 2016 at 8:43 am

    It is depressing to…

  9. seagul October 18, 2016 at 8:49 am

    The PM has entered in the homeschooling debate. People are sick and dying in large numbers from these fast food killers and he chooses to discriminate on the basis of religion.

  10. Meakai October 18, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Really poor people do not eat enough to get fat. So we as a country should try eating less.

    Eat Less, should be the mantra instead of the pie in the sky Eat Healthy campaigns that fail to resonate with the target audience.

  11. Helicopter(8P) October 18, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    I can remember as a toddler being raised in Barbados the Ministry of Health visiting the elementary schools weighing the children and making recommendation weather the child was underweight or overweight.

  12. Hal Austin October 18, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    What is the chief medical officer’s job?


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