KINGSTON, Jamaica. The Ministry of Education is finalizing development of a proposed National School Nutrition Policy, which aims to promote healthy eating and physical activity in Jamaican schools.
Education Minister Ruel Reid, said work to develop the policy was initially slated for completion this month. “But we still have some fine-tuning [to do]. As such, we decided to roll out the restriction of sugary drinks before,” he said.
Speaking at a recent forum on ‘Sugars, Other Carbohydrates and Fats – Their Contribution to Obesity… and Effective Solutions’.
Reid said the policy seeks to improve the nutritional status of children and support their long-term physical and psychosocial development.
Additionally, he said the policy forms part of the Government’s broader approach to promoting healthy choices in and out of school for children and youth, by equipping them with the requisite knowledge and skills to make better decisions regarding diet and physical activity. “It is only fitting that this is done, as our Ministry has direct contact with the children who will, in turn, become adults.”
Meanwhile, Reid said the National School Nutrition Standards, being developed by the Ministry of Health, will support implementation of the nutrition-related aspects of the Policy.
It will outline the recommended nutrient standards for meals; non-meal items, such as snacks; and beverages.
The Standards will, eventually, be incorporated into the existing National School Feeding Program.