Parents give Gov't thumbs up on sugary drinks restriction

Sunday, June 17, 2018

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FOLLOWING Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton's recent announcement in Parliament that, effective January 2019, sugary drinks will be restricted in schools, Jamaica Observer writer Cherries Wiles asked parents in the Corporate Area to weigh in on the move and share what adjustments they will be making to facilitate the shift. Here's what the parents had to say:

“I agree 100 per cent. I think it is a good initiative to ensure a lot of children do not get sick and to cut down on sweet and on soda... Mi a guh cut down on the sugar, because mi concerned about the amount of sugar my daughter's getting. Right now she's into physical activities, she does gymnastics, and come next year she is going into swimming.”

— Alvin Mightly, daughter attends primary school

“It's good because nowadays, Oh God, it look too hard to see a five-year-old, four-year-old with sugar (diabetes) at such a young age. You know mi have a niece weh have sugar. She a seven and them find out from she a six or five... I'm giving my daughter less sugary juice and more water. She also does sports, track and field. I encourage a healthy lifestyle to my child, you know, more fruits and vegetables, less sugar.”

— Natasha Levy, daughter about to start primary school

“Well, dem taking a good step, because sugar lead up to diabetes and most of the children dem, when them drink too much sugar or eat too much sweet they will become obese, and them cyaan function properly at school. It damage their health... I buy fruits for my grandchildren and give them water for their breaks and like box milk or those things to go with their lunch. I have one grandchild in basic school, she's doing swimming and one in high school, she takes part in a lot of things like swimming and volleyball.

— Paulette Waul, grandmother of five

“Well, right now a something good him, (health minister) a really come with because trust mi, di pickney dem, too much sickness deh pon dis land ya... Fi me now, wid my grandchildren dem, I buy a lot of carrot when it cheap a market and make juice, freeze it, and make dem carry it to school. Because nothing like yuh natural juice. I don't drink the soda, years I don't drink soda, because I don't see the reason why you a drink this thing ya and as you drink you just a burp. So I don't buy soda to give it to my grandchildren. Mi buy natural juice, it dear but when mi buy the case of it, it serve, and then I would come in-between with mi likkle carrot and mek dem get them carrot juice.”

— Elaine Davidson, granddaughter attends primary school

“Yea, him (health minister) need to do that and reduce the sugary intake because after a while the kids dem reach certain age they start to develop all kinds of medical problems... My son, every juice mi buy I always dilute it, or when I am making it I try to use as little sugar as possible. I always do that because my grandmother always do that. The sugar cause us to be so sick, cancer, diabetes and all kinds of problems.”

— Christopher Brown, three children and five grandchildren

“I think it's very good, because the sugar content in the juice for the kids is too high. It makes them very hyperactive and will cause diabetes later, so it's good that they're cutting it down for them... I am concerned about what my son eats. I don't want to give him any sugar, no candy, so I try to stay away from that because he's hyper already, so giving him those makes him more hyper. So I try to give him less juice and more water. He gets water now to go to school, and a little juice, like mango juice, that I make. I make his food from home to send him to school with because they sell chicken and chips and I can't make him eat chicken and chips everyday. So I try to give him something different, an alternative to that stuff.”

— Sheldon Cross, son attends primary school

“I think it's a good move to reduce obesity and heart failure and certain things, so I think it's good. Hopefully it can work and the people dem by the school can cooperate and work with it... I will be sending my children to school with blend-up juice. So mi a guh get some bottle and blend it up and tell dem fi carry back home the bottle. So I will blend up the juice, no sugar, natural sugar because the sugary juice kinda put a lot of weight on me. So I'm drinking more water now and natural, blend-up juice. So that's what I'm encouraging my children to do.”

— Orville McLeod, two children in primary school

“Well my view is that the sugary drinks should be banned from schools because it is not healthy for the children, not even for the adults because in the long run there are a lot of complications such as diabetes and other things, and it has a lot to do with their learning ability and those things... I am planning to blend more natural juice to give my children for school and also letting them have water, because the juice have natural sugar in it without you putting any in, so make sure they have water with that. My son, who plays football doesn't really drink much sweet drinks, because his coach let him know that those things slow them down. But, overall, I don't give my kids soda. I give them juices, which do have in sugar, but I don't feed them on it.”

— Nordia Nelson, mother of four

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