GMOA spearheads move to get people to eat healthy food



By Dilanthi Jayamanne


The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has urged the public to change their food habits and help battle the high incidence of non communicable diseases (NCDs).


GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya, addressing the media at the OPA, quoting 2006 health statistics, said 30 percent of Sri Lankans had been either overweight or obese. 11-15 percent of children had been either pre-diabetic or diabetic that same year. In 2006, 1/5 (20 percent) adults had been diabetic or prone to the disease, Dr. Padeniya said. The numbers must have increased to 25 percent by the current year, he observed.


A concerned Dr. Padeniya said that 85 percent Sri Lankan adults were vulnerable to heart ailments, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, stroke, liver ailments and renal diseases owing to their food habits and the amount of poisonous chemicals contained in the food that was consumed.


The GMOA press briefing was held in collaboration with the Institute of Industrial Technology (ITI), the Sri Lanka Medical Nutrition Association (SLMNA) and the Government Ayurvedic Medical Officers’ Association (GAMOA) in a bid to promote the use of traditional rice and kola kenda.


The Director General and CEO of ITI, Dr. G. A. S. Premakumara said research carried out by the ITI had shown the high percentages of protein, carbohydrate, iron, vitamins A, B and E were found in traditional rice as opposed to the varieties of rice freely available in the market. Naming the types of traditional rice he said that they were ideal for controlling and even preventing diabetes, blindness and prevention of organ failure.


"We shouldn’t eat only to dull our hunger pangs; we should concentrate on consuming health foods," he said.


Nutritionist Dr. Sujeewa S. Wickramasinghe observed that over 25 percent of children attending international schools in the Gampaha District were overweight. It had everything to do with their nutrition levels and values. Eating large amounts of polished rice available in the market did not mean that a person got proper nutrition.


While encouraging people to consume traditional types of rice, she said they should also pay more attention to the food preparation. The methods adopted in food preparation, too, helped prevent diseases, she said.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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