A local medical practitioner is expressing concern about the rising number of young people being diagnosed with type two diabetes, which endocrinologist Dr Carlisle Goddard is blaming poor eating habits.
In commemoration of World Diabetes Day, the Lions ClubSt Michael organized a lecture at The St Michael School, where Dr Goddard, the featured speaker, spoke to the sixth form students about the dangers of the non-communicable disease.
Dr Goddard stated that two thirds of Barbadians were overweight and the remainder were obese, which he said was a global pattern.
In a subsequent interview with Barbados TODAY he said due to poor eating habits, children were being diagnosed with diabetes at a younger age, with girls at greater risk than boys.
“We have seen this change worldwide where there are more overweight and obese children, and because of the early onset of obesity in children that has caused a significant strain on their metabolic development and as a result their pancreas is being affected where you are seeing a shift in type two diabetes in children at a far earlier age,” he revealed.
The doctor pointed out that despite attempts by Government to curb Barbadians’ eating habits with the introduction of the soft drink tax and healthy eating initiatives in primary and secondary schools, locals were lagging to take action.
“Whereas there is awareness, enforcing it now or transferring from awareness into action is the hiatus. We have not crossed that bridge properly yet,” Dr Goddard said.
He stressed that in order to reverse this trend, parents and children needed to focus on the nutritional value of food rather than its attractiveness.
“The soda drink companies, the fast food companies, they make their profit because of taste, appeal and fast production. … You are more going to take those as an option other than the healthy option. So until we can imprint on children and on the other adults that it is not necessarily about smell and taste only but the nutritional value … to over shine the taste and attractiveness of the fast food, we are not going to win this war,” Dr Goddard said.