Vice President of the International Diabetes Federation Zobida Ragbirsingh is calling on parents to be better examples for their children by practicing healthy lifestyles. Ragbirsingh lamented the high statistics of obesity among children which ultimately leads to complications arising out of diabetes.
“Thirty percent of our nation’s children are obese,” Ragbirsingh said at the Eyes Right project of the Rapidfire Kidz Foundation, held last Sunday, to distribute glasses to students from three schools in Siparia.
A total of 54 pairs of glasses were given to students from the Siparia KPA, the Siparia Presbyterian, and the St Christopher’s AC schools. Rapidfire executive member Bisram Ramdat said to date they have distributed some 541 pairs of glasses to children in need.
In her address Ragbirsingh, also an association past president urged parents to monitor their children’s diets and encourage them to exercise. She said in today’s world with an abundance of technology, “children are only exercising their thumbs.”
“Our kids today are consumed with I phones, I pads, and lap-tops. As a result, their health is suffering. More and more we are seeing parents outliving their children due to this generation living unhealthy lifestyles.”
She also advised parents to set the right examples for their children, by themselves eating well and exercising. “Children mimic what they see. If they see the right thing, they’ll mimic the right thing.”
Underscoring that approximately 30 percent of this country’s children are obese, she noted that an obese child often grows into an obese adult, who then contracts chronic diseases. She said that diabetes is often associated with poor eyesight and blindness.
Reminding the audience that T&T had been ranked third in the world in obesity, Ragbirsingh said there are currently hundreds of children living with Type 1 Diabetes, who have to receive insulin daily. She also used the platform for support for the local agricultural sector by including a diet of more local rather than imported fruits.
“Too often, we go down to the fruit shed looking only for apples and grapes. We have to keep our local vendors in mind. Buy local. Support local. We have oranges, mangoes, paw paw, watermelons, right here. Let’s help to build our own agricultural sector,” she said