“The wealth of a nation lies in its health”.
This was one of the major messages that came out from the finals of the 2018 National Schools Nutrition Quiz sponsored by the Grenada Food and Nutrition Council (GFNC).
In addressing participants, Executive Secretary of GFNC, Lydia Browne set the tone for the event with the underlying message that nutrition should play a major part in all lives, with most benefit coming from commencing such practices from as young as possible.
Browne said that the knowledge accumulated by the secondary school students in preparation for the annual quiz, not only helps them to compete but also contributes towards the subject matter appearing in their exams and the opportunity to share what they have learned with the wider population.
Minister of Agriculture, Yolande Bain-Horsford who attended the event noted that the involvement of fourteen schools in the quiz translated into a total of 56 students, who would be directly impacted, in terms of improved nutritional health and positive lifestyles, by what they had learned in the preparatory process.
Minister Bain-Horsford was confident that raising awareness and interest in nutrition will have a significant effect on the population of Grenada.
She said the fact that the quiz is geared at young adults is key “as they are our future”
The female government minister praised the hard work and efforts of both teachers and staff of GNFC and reminded students that education is the key to healthy lifestyles.
Bain-Horsford encouraged all participants to make a concerted effort to strengthen and support the agriculture sector by utilising locally produced foods at affordable prices for the general population.
Administrative assistant at St. Augustine’s Medical Services (SAMS), Lauren Grey, who spoke on behalf of the sponsors of the quiz, stressed the importance of their assistance to the event.
“We see it as perfectly natural that SAMS lend their support to an initiative which not only educates, but also has so much potential for practical impact on the health of not just these young persons, but all whom they share their knowledge with”, she said.
“The incidences of illnesses directly related to nutritional factors are seen practically on a daily basis, not just at SAMS but by doctors throughout our tri-island state”, she added.
The other keynote speaker at the event was newly appointed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Finley “Scholar” Jeffrey, who expressed his delight at the growth and direction of the quiz, a direct result of the collaborative efforts of GFNC and the Ministry of Education.
The multiple calypso monarch winner shared the importance of the wider message of the quiz in light of the unhappy reality of incidences of children, even at pre-primary school age, experiencing dental and health problems, including diabetes and hypertension, due to poor diet.
Jeffrey encouraged parents to pay attention to the message: “Leave the processed food on the shelves – don’t put foods in the lunch box which make children sick” and told the students themselves – “Don’t let what has been learnt die with the quiz, lead by example. A Healthy Nation is a Wealthy Nation. Eat something local for dinner”.
McDonalds College, represented by Christell Andall, Charisann Penny, Heidi Stanisclaus & Lyandra Narayan was declared as the winner of the 2018 National Schools Nutrition Quiz.