A collaborative workshop to address childhood obesity and improving school nutrition was held on the 2nd March 2012, between the NCC, Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education.
The speakers covered a wide range of topics which were divided into two parts to highlight the importance of addressing this issue.
These included for the first half of the morning : recommendations of the CRC, ‘healthy nutrition is every child’s right,’ the current and concerning rising trend in childhood obesity in Seychelles and the impact of being obese on a psychological, social and physical level.
The second part of the workshop provided information on basic food hygiene, the current school nutrition policy, current areas of strength and weaknesses and to inspire the school representatives a success story from the head teacher of Port Glaud Primary school on the implementation of the policy. It was highlighted that through hard work, dedication, determination and developing a good working relationship with the tuck shop operator, it has meant that the children of Port Glaud school have access to snacks which are high in nutritional value all the time. Those snacks which are considered less nutritious, as per the policy are available but for specific limited periods in the week only.
The health of the participants was also considered as there was the opportunity to sample healthy, nutritious snacks during the tea break which consisted of a variety of fruits, sandwiches and locally made vegetable and fruit cakes instead of the usual selection of fried somosa, patties and pastries.
Let’s hope this workshop is the start of change so that all Seychellois children have equal access to food and snacks which are in the best interest of their physical health all the time in all schools.