Ministry of Health Launches National Nutrition Policy to Address Belizeans’ Health Concerns

Ministry of Health Launches National Nutrition Policy to Address Belizeans’ Health Concerns

The general health of Belizeans has raised concerns with the Ministry of Health and Wellness. Today a National Nutrition Policy was launched in Belize City. The aim of this launch is to strengthen the government’s operation with the responsibility of proper nutrition and food security.  Love News spoke to the Minister of Education, Culture, Science, and Technology, Francis Fonseca, on the changes this policy will implement in the public schools. He stated that the overall goal is to improve the nutritional status of Belize and promote healthy living. Minister Fonseca also stated that eating healthy will offer healthy learning to the youths in schools.

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education:Because it’s so critically important to education and it complements the work that we are doing at the Ministry of Education. As you all may know we have launched a national healthy start feeding program which is an effort by the Government of Belize to provide a healthy meal to all of our students across the country at least one healthy meal, a nutritious meal. And so that’s what this nutrition policy is all about. Of course this is for the entire country. We see a unique opportunity where we have over 100,000 students in our education system from preschool to university. We see that as a critical opportunity for us to engage with those students, make sure that they learn healthy eating habits from the very beginning and that they carry those habits with them throughout their lives.”

Along with educating the public and children about healthy living, Fonseca also explained that the overall plan is to also ban all sugary, unhealthy foods that are sold to children in schools across the country. First the schools then the public. 

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education: “So we are trying to do our part working along with our partners at the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the Ministry of Agriculture, we are working along with the Food and Agriculture Organization. A couple weeks ago or maybe two months ago we launched in Corozal the National School Menus Policy and program again which we are providing to every school as school menu but we are not only providing a menu we are also helping them with working along with FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture to equip their kitchens, to give them equipment, proper equipment so that they can cook healthy meals at the end of the day the objective is to ensure that our people are better educated about healthy choices that they can make for themselves and their families, their children when it comes to nutritious eating. Our objective is to ban the sale of sugary drinks on our school campuses, that is the objective. Obviously it has to be phased in because we have to work with our school partners many of them have all sorts of agreements and contracts we have to work with them but that’s the objective and that will be the basis of the legislation that we will table in the National Assembly.”

The hope of this program is to get the country’s overall health can get back on track.

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