Local obesity rates have been climbing and Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony is calling on the population to pay better attention to their health and dietary intake to avoid problems such as noncommunicable diseases.
He was at the time speaking about nutritional issues in Guyana during a national dialogue in preparation for a United Nations Food Systems Summit.
The Health Minister revealed that the obesity rate for males in the country stand at 41% while in females, it is approximately 56.5%.
“In our adolescent and adult population, we have seen an increase in obesity…As we know, these are factors that can contribute to chronic Non-Communicable Diseases and if we reduce our consumption of sugar, sugar sweetened beverages, fast foods and we change the things that we eat, we can reduce our levels of obesity,” Dr Anthony noted.
Another nutritional problem, he noted, has to do with micronutrient deficiency.
“Another nutritional problem that we face in Guyana is the whole question of micronutrient deficiency. One of the places where we can see this is in pregnancy. We can find that there is a lot of iron deficiency anaemia among our pregnant women. We have had a project in Guyana where we addressed this concern and, unfortunately, that programme has been terminated and we still have among us this whole problem of anaemia in pregnancy,” the Health Minister said.
The most recent survey shows that pregnant women with mild forms of anaemia stand at 41 per cent, moderate anaemia – 16.7 per cent and severe anaemia – 0.5 per cent. This issue, the Minister said, can be mitigated by providing nutritional supplements.