Alarm over high blood pressure in children

In a few weeks, the Ministry of Education is scheduled to roll out its National School Nutrition Policy, but the Barbados Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition is concerned about the prevalence of high blood pressure in children.

Chairman of the coalition, Dr Kia Lewis, sounded that alarm yesterday during the Ministry of Education and Heart & Stroke Foundation’s online training session with canteen concessionaires and school vendors. She urged them and parents to limit students’ intake of salt, and trans fats and sugar.

“The younger the child, the less salt you should give them. We know that black people are particularly salt-sensitive so salt tends to drive up our blood pressure, so this is why we have a high incidence of high blood pressure in Barbados.

“And we are seeing quite a few young people, people in the paediatric population, that have elevated blood pressures, and that is frightening,” Lewis said.

She stated the recommended daily amount of sodium was 2 300 milligrammes per day or one teaspoon of salt. She, however, said that amount could be found in excess in foods such as pizza, bread, rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, corned beef, bacon, hot dogs, chicken patties and nuggets. (TG)

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