Fitzroy Henry, Professor of Public Health Nutrition at the University of Technology
One local expert wants more pressure to be applied to fast food companies to have them do more to make their meals less harmful to their customers, as the nation comes to grips with the problems of obesity and chronic diseases.
Fitzroy Henry, Professor of Public Health Nutrition at the University of Technology, recently conducted a study which reveals that more than 20,000 more Jamaicans will become overweight this year.
He said this will continue each succeeding year unless there are significant behaviourial and dietary changes, some of them involving the fast food companies and their practices.
"We really need to have some standards and guidelines for the fast food companies to adhere to. Other jurisdictions have been able to do it and they have been able to reduce it. We can do the same thing if we are bold enough. We can start with the standards, the guidelines, the encouragement, and if needs be, we'll have to look at regulation," Henry asserted.
He was speaking at this week's edition of the RJR News Forum.
The study which covered 1,055 households in the Corporate Area, St. James, Portland and St. Elizabeth, revealed that only 28 per cent of those surveyed consumed less than two portions of sugar and fat per day, and only 20.5 per cent were consuming five or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day.