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Baksh: Use lighted grounds to fight lifestyle diseases
Young people are being urged to make more use of recreational facilities to combat childhood obesity which is on the rise. So said Nizam Baksh, Minister of Public Utilities, when he delivered the feature address at a ceremony to mark the installation of lights at the Naparima College Recreation Ground under the Public Street Lighting Programme.
The function took place on Wednesday at Lewis Street, San Fernando. Baksh said data from the Ministry of Health and the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute showed for the past decade there had been a 300 percent increase in overweight children.
He said T&T ranks number one in the Caribbean for the number of deaths from chronic non-communicable diseases. He said the figures were staggering, “especially when we bear in mind the life-threatening and debilitating diseases that often accompany obesity.”
He added: “Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke and even some forms of cancer are directly related to obesity brought on by a lack of a healthy lifestyle. ”These diseases have been killing large percentages of our population over the years.”
He said 60 percent of all deaths before the age of 70 were related to chronic non-communicable diseases. "Trinbagonians die two to 2.5 years younger than the average life expectancy due to heart disease and stroke,” he added.
Baksh said the use of public recreation facilities was part of the arsenal in the battle against lifestyle diseases. In the Government’s drive to boost healthy lifestyles, he said, 151 recreation grounds have been lit and T&TEC was working to illuminate 12 more.
The grounds at Naparima College had cost $862,868 to light up and the lights would be operated on timers from 6 pm to 10 pm. Baksh said he was pleased the ground was used by several of the area’s schools and the community.
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