A memorandum issued earlier this month by the Director of Health Services in the Ministry of Health announces a new policy implemented by the Ministry to band unhealthy foods, including Soft drinks from all Ministry of Health facilities.
According to the memorandum, the implementation of this new policy comes after considering the financial and social effects that diseases such as Obesity, Diabetes, Hypertension and Cancer has in our society. Healthy eating, according to the Ministry, is the main contributor to management and prevention of these diseases and as such the Minister of Health along with senior administrative staff of Health facilities have engaged in this ‘Healthy food on site policy”
The switch from soft drinks, foods high in sugar, salt and fat…to fresh fruits, vegetables and whole wheat products within all MOH facilities is expected to take effect on November 1st.
In the month of August during a handing over ceremony to the Ministry of Health from the Embassy of Taiwan to Belize in Corozal Town, Minister of Health Pablo Marin introduced the notion of the policy.
Honorable Pablo Marin – Minister of Health
“Soft drink, that is one of the main concerns, we need to eliminate the soft drinks and sweets in schools, in colleges, I will advocate to the ministry of education to work along with the ministry of health for us to eliminate this first step, this essential for our people. The people of Belize have to work along with the ministry of health, it is o not only the ministry of health or the minister of health it is you the people of Belize that needs to work along for us to create a healthy lifestyle; you need to do a lot of exercise, you need to eat healthy.”
This new policy is expected to apply to all Staff who eat on site, food served to patients, food for any MOH meeting and events and also food served at snack shops and vendors on site.