Diabetes Association president acknowledges efforts towards healthier diet and financial challenges to eating right

Nurse Juanita James, a former nutritionist/dietician, says there is
mixed optimism about sharing information on diabetes, including
what to do to prevent, or to control, the disease here, in Antigua and Barbuda.
Sometimes, one feels encouraged by the strides made in the
education drive, while, at other times, it appears to be an uphill
battle, says James, the president of the Antigua and Barbuda
Diabetes Association.

However, she adds, giving up is never an option, since many people
are now trying to live healthier lifestyles through exercising – such

as walking or cycling – which is important in controlling many
lifestyle diseases.
And more people are also trying to eat a healthy and well-balanced
diet by consuming more fruits and vegetables, James acknowledges

But while efforts are being made and encouragement is being given
to eat healthier foods, James says this actually creates a challenge
for many residents.

She explains that there are more unhealthy food products coming
into the market; and since these are usually more competitively
priced, people often buy what they can afford.
Accordingly, James says there should be policies and regulations in
place that would allow persons to make healthier food choices and
reduce the risk of non-communicable lifestyle diseases.

For years now, the Government has said it intends to tax sugary
drinks and other unhealthy food and beverages, and James says she
is in full support of this measure.
She believes this initiative would act as a deterrent to persons who
might choose an unhealthy option.

That was Nurse Juanita James, president of the Antigua and
Barbuda Diabetes Association.

However, another resident says that this is not practical, as healthy
food and beverages are more expensive and people already are
struggling to make ends meet.