Jamaicans, on average, consume more than 3-pounds of sugar per week.
That’s according to the Chair of the National Food Industry Task Force, Professor Fitzroy Henry.
He was speaking at a sensitization session about sugar consumption and obesity at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston today.
The Ministry of Health in its efforts to promote preventative health has partnered with other stakeholders to educate the nation about unhealthy consumption habits.
The bad drinking and eating habits in the population leaves the government with a huge medical bill per year.
Professor Henry says, on average, Jamaicans consume 3-pounds of sugar every week. That amounts to more than 100 pounds of sugar per year.
The Health Ministry has been focusing on reducing sugar consumption in its efforts to promote healthy living.
The National Food Industry Task Force is also focused on lowering the consumption of fats and oils.
Executive Director of the Heart Foundation, Deborah Chen, says the primary focus is on reducing sugar consumption because it’s the largest contributor to the calorie intake. She says when consumed in excess, it leads to several health problems. These include obesity, heart attack and dental problems.
However, most persons are unaware of how much sugar is in the sweetened beverages they consume daily. Ms. Chen says a bottle of soda has just over 17 teaspoons of sugar.
She says a man should consume, daily, 9-teaspoons of sugar and a woman six. A man would have almost doubled his recommended daily intake of sugar by drinking one bottle of soda. And a woman would have almost tripled her recommended intake of sugar for the day by having one can or bottle of soda.