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Unhealthy eating & foods inculcated through culture in VI- Cromwell Smith

- Dr Sharlon Lewis urges VI to reject processed foods from other cultures as part of diabetic awareness talks
Talkshow host and activist Mr Cromwell Smith says poor eating habits and food has been inculcated in the minds of Virgin Islanders through the local culture. Photo: Internet Source
Mr Cromwell Smith, left, with guest Dr Sharlon Lewis on ‘Umoja’ on November 15, 2022. Photo: Facebook
Mr Cromwell Smith, left, with guest Dr Sharlon Lewis on ‘Umoja’ on November 15, 2022. Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Talkshow host and activist Mr Cromwell Smith says poor eating habits and food have been inculcated in the minds of Virgin Islanders through the local culture.

Mr Smith made the remarks on his ‘Umoja’ show on ZBVI 780 AM on November 15, 2022, alongside Dr Sharlon Lewis. The topic was diabetic awareness and the need to prevent chronic diseases.

Calling for more national persuasion to eat healthy, along with building more awareness around the subject, Mr Smith said persons in the VI often don’t even know what to eat.

Increased risk of chronic diseases 

According to studies, diets high in ultra-processed foods, such as sugary cereal and some frozen dinners and luncheon meats, have been linked to increased risk of obesity and chronic disease.

According to Mr Smith, “A lot of us don’t know the foods to eat and even when we hear about the foods to eat, we don’t know about how to prepare the foods, times of the day to eat, water intake,” he related.

“I know we like pleasure, but I think the concept of pleasure has been inculcated in our minds through culture… what we think is pleasurable has been thought to us,” he added. 

Dr Lewis said persons who would often speak about their love for candies and sweets should think about taking about it as a recognised drug.

Reject unhealthy foods from other cultures- Dr Lewis 

“We have to acknowledge that these things actually have a detrimental effect We have to acknowledge that some of the foods, especially the heavily sweetened processed stuff that we have grown up on in recent time, we have to acknowledge how its negatively affecting our health,” she said.

Mr Smith recalled raising children on healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and water and discovering their disgust when trying a potato chip which was their first taste of processed food.

“And I'm telling that story to say that if we were raised eating what we should be eating, then we wouldn't desire those salty foods and those sweet foods,” he added.

Dr Lewis urged Virgin Islanders to retrain their tastebuds if they find they cannot give up certain foods by rejecting processed foods from other cultures, along with eating healthy and teaching children about the need to eat healthily.

23 Responses to “Unhealthy eating & foods inculcated through culture in VI- Cromwell Smith”

  • Scientist (21/11/2022, 10:48) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    True words spoken. Sugar is addictive. Regular exercise also helps.
  • Nnative senior citizens of the British Virgin Islands (21/11/2022, 10:53) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    I am in agreement with you on this topic issue that unhealthy eating of foods have, are continuing causing severe chronic illness in the BVI, and others, too.
    Many food items that we regularly imported, sold daily in the various Super Markets, and other food stores contained chemicals that cause health problems, including some medical drugs.
  • Really (21/11/2022, 10:56) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    This is the depopulation agenda in many many ways. All bad food m what he should do is have the government plant the food here instead of bringing in all poison food with chemicals, aborted fetus and pesticides. No one cares for us if you all have sense. All sellout in power.
    • @Really (21/11/2022, 11:18) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
      Why does the Government have to plant the food, plant it your damn self. I plant my own food in my back yard. People here eat to much fried foods, starchy foods and continue to consume sodas that is eating their insides out.
      • Really (21/11/2022, 12:07) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Idiot I bet you still go to a supermarket to buy things. The Almighty God gave us all the resources we needed and the elites stole everything and charge us. I am smart I eat what I plant. You still go to the for medical care and everything else while this rip you off using your money for everything. You will soon see who cares for you. The people you all defend will show you who's boss soon. Control puppets
        • @reality (21/11/2022, 14:02) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply

          If anyone is the idiot it certainly is you. Shut the $#*% up already you worthless piece of dog diarrhea.

  • reality (21/11/2022, 11:17) Like (22) Dislike (2) Reply
    Do these people live in the BVI? Have you seen what it costs to eat a decent meal here? The reality is that most people do not choose to eat bad, they have no choice because that is what they can afford! A minimum wage worker has to work an entire hour to be able to afford a bag of spinach that will only last 3 days in the fridge before it goes off, think about that! Globally, people eat what they can afford and that's that. Those that can afford to eat healthy would most times do so and most who cannot, won't. Good information either way but we cannot ignore the realities on the ground.
    • Scientist (21/11/2022, 14:57) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      One approach would be for govt to underwrite some of the costs of healthy foods (e.g. fresh fruit and veg) and to tax unhealthy snacks, sodas to encourage people to make the right choices. Proper nutrition could also be taught in schools.
  • Native Senior Citizen of the British Virgin Islands (21/11/2022, 11:33) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Mr. Cromwell Smith, and Dr. Lewis, thank you for raising awareness of this topic issue. This continuing unhealthy eating of health damaging is a worldwide humongouspandemic, so to speak. It is extremely difficult to bring under managible control, especially to people that are paid minimum wage.
    As I see it, we all are accountable to each others, in or to bring a steep reduction of this life threatening, and deadly. This surely is one of our serious problems, that are in need of our urgent response, beginning now.
    For the above reason, and more, honest accountibility of how our political leaders managing our finances is vital.
    In addition health education, and good eating practices should not be ignored by anyone of us.
    Genuine unity for the good health of all our people is the duty of all our people, and visitors, too.
  • Thing is (21/11/2022, 12:12) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    People here eat to much processed unhealthy foods. There is to many obese people on the Island. Now that we are on the subject about obesity, I am concern about the overweight guys that waddle walk in the race during festival time.Now they are being boosted up to race again. Stop encouraging those men to play Russian roulette with their lives. Encourage them to start a healthy lifestyle. When they drop down all you guys is going to do is take videos to post and laugh. Those guys are in no condition to be out here running a fat race for entertainment and laughs. Just plain out stupid.
    • agreed (21/11/2022, 17:22) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Those two guys that was in the fat race is obese. Stop encouraging those guys to go out there and kill themselves for a few laughs and entertainment.
  • Not a real place (21/11/2022, 12:33) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    we love 600lb women case close! omw to scato's for some chicken & chips
    • Well (21/11/2022, 13:57) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
      Everyone don’t love big looking two tons of fun sloppy looking women. As a man, I don’t like women with their stomachs touching their legs when they walk or sit down.
      • @Well (21/11/2022, 19:30) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        Agreed, the weather is to hot to be walking around with all that weight looking like a sweaty pig at the County Fair. This is not about fat shaming, sometimes you got to go hard on people for reality to click in. It is a health issue thing. You can eat as much as you like but do it in moderation. You don’t have to have a slab of ribs and a hunk of pork on the same time.
      • @Well (21/11/2022, 19:39) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        I don’t like the tire rolls or to see those big overweight women wearing those short shorts with all the cellulite and cottage cheese. That is a turn off to a lot of men including myself. Not every man gravitate to that it just looks nasty.
      • Heyyyyyy (21/11/2022, 22:24) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        For real, them stomachs that be flopping down on their thighs is gross and got the nerve to wear spandex. May as well invest in some SPANX.
    • Eyyyy (21/11/2022, 14:31) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Don’t say we, can’t speak for me, don’t like obese women CASE CLOSED!!!!!!
  • infomed (21/11/2022, 14:38) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    To eat healthy you need to be able to afford the food. e.g. Fish is 15% duty, WHY? This forces the food prices through the roof. Soda drinks un-healthy 10%, Tobacco is high and drink is 15%. There should be a sugar tax on unhealth items but the items like fish should be 5%, Beef is 5% Poultry is 0% this makes no sense to a population to over pay on health items.
    Wharfage increased 100% last year. We pay Duty on freight so things are crazy expensive.

    Government need to look at themselves to help the population eat healthy.
  • ausar (21/11/2022, 15:31) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    I would like to agree, but I have to differ. It was some of the many "unhealthy" foods that kept many of our people alive during hard times.

    I think we focus a lot on foodstuffs, but we need to look at other aspects of living that has contributed to poor health:

    Chemicals in bodily care products, chemically laden hygienic products for men and women- orally, topically, and insertionally-, as having major causes;

    Lack of properly drinking water, properly showering water, and water for other uses, improper ingestion of junks-orally and visually-, chemically laden hair styles- and a host of other maladies, contribute to many of our health issues.

    We drive everywhere and walk and run very little. We tend to eat and drink at all hours of the day, and we get very little rest; all, contributing to poor health.

    I would hope that as a people, we would strive to be as healthful AND LOOK, as healthful as possible!
  • Let me ADD THIS (21/11/2022, 18:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    EMWE HAVE THE LANDS VTO GROW OUR OWN FOOD NATURALLY ( D CUBAN ) KILL IT ), EVERYTHING WE IMPORT IS FULL OF ( GMO ,) OR GENETICALLY ENGINEERED / EVEN THE MEDICATIONS IS A ONE OF THE BIGGEST KILLERS ( AS IN SIDE EFFECTS ,) AND ALL THE DOCTORS WITH A LICENSE TO PRESCRIBE MEDICATIONS AND IF AND YOU DEVELOP ONE OR MORE OF THE SIDE EFFECTS / THEY SIMPLY CHANGE IT AND THE BEAT GOES ON , SO WE ARE AT THE MERCY OF THE BIG PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES WHO IS ONLY INTRESTED IN THE ????????
  • And you know what? (21/11/2022, 19:52) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Those frozen chicken nuggets that your children love to eat, the insides AKA guts and chicken bones is processed into chicken nuggets then a whole bunch of msg is added to make it taste good. Those cup a noodles, the imitation season packet is nothing but sodium.
  • Mustang (23/11/2022, 02:15) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Culturally, vi people has feast on a sugary and salty food. And chronic diseases , iie, sugar and pressure, are common place, playing the health of VI residents. Further, the BVI import most of it food; it has a food insecurity issue. Most of the imported food is laden with sugar, fat , salt, and calories. It is ironic that the Vi people’s forebears exert much blood, sweat and tears to cultivate and harvest sugar cane and tiday sugar is rampant among their descendants. Some commentators, eg, sir Hillary Beckles, have listed the region as having per capita some of the most unhealthy people in the world.


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