By Neto Baptiste
Education officer with special responsibility for physical education, Sean Samuel, said that as of next school year starting September, measures should be in place to assist in the recording and proper storage of data regarding the obesity levels of students across Antigua and Barbuda.
Samuel, who highlighted the importance of having such data at your fingertips, believes that once the process starts, the country would be in a better position to share important with regional and international partners.
“There are about three programmes coming on board in the new school year that should see that problem resolved and the hope is that within three years, we should have enough data that we can start trend what is happening and start to put corrective things in place to change what we are seeing in terms of the obesity levels at our schools,” he said.
Samuel believes also that after some years of collecting data, both the health and sports ministry would have a better understanding as to what it would take to improve decrease obesity within the country’s youths.
“Once you start to [take] data you can then look to see are students getting fatter or are they staying within the weight range or are they underweight and so I can’t say it in a one-off taking of weight but after three years of data you can start to compare having that same child’s weight for three years and you can see exactly where that child is going and know exactly what needs to be done in terms of intervention,” he said.
In a recent interview, Samuel revealed that despite a consistently high level of passes in physical education at both the CSEC and Cape levels, a very low percentage of those students eventually move into the field.