Sirisena identifies four obstacles to healthy living

By Dilanthi Jayamanne

Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena identified four major obstacles the country was faced with in uplifting nutritional values among people. Quoting the Health Minister, who was chief guest at the Opening of National Nutritional Coordinating Centre in Polonnaruwa, the spokesman said yesterday that alcohol and tobacco posed the largest threat to nutrition.

"It’s been a problem from colonial times. A sizable share of a person’s earnings is spent on alcohol and tobacco. However, the latest threat in uplifting nutrition is the mobile phone and beauty culture," he said adding that people spent a great amount of money maintaining their mobile phones and on beauty treatment. "We not only have to educate children, but also youth and adults on nutrition," the spokesman said.

"If there are five members in a family each of them owns a mobile phone. People walking on the street are sometimes not even aware of where they are going as they are busy talking over the phone. The cost is the same even if the phones are pre-paid or post paid,: he said.

People spend more than they could afford on beauty treatment. They don’t believe in maintaining health values by consuming nutritional food to stay beautiful, the spokesman said.

However, the Ministry is making an effort to create awareness among people on healthy food habits and nutritional values. One needs nutritional food rather than junk food to extend his/her lifespan, he said.

The Ministry will carry nutritional programmes, initiated by the National Nutritional Council. It would also establish ‘National Nutritional Coordinating Centres,’ affiliated to all major hospitals in the country, the spokesman added.

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