Healthier bread - National baking loaf with 33 per cent less sugar
The Jamaican people have spoken, and the National Baking Company responded yesterday by launching the 'Balance Your Life Campaign', which will see the sugar content of some of its bread cut by 33 per cent.
Butch Hendrickson, chief executive officer, said that in addition to international trends, he believes there has been a moderate shift in Jamaicans' lifestyle practices. So people have been given a choice between the traditional bread and those in which the sugar content is lowered.
"The Jamaican public has changed their pattern of eating and we have had to change with them, and we are happy to change with them," he said.
"What we saw more was a trend internationally, and we realise that we didn't have the options in Jamaica, so we created the options. We create new things and we took the gamble. I think the other side to that is, as a company in Jamaica who is so privileged to be a part of many people's daily diet, I think we owe it to our people to give them good choices, give them as best a healthy product as we can."
CREATING A HEALTHY ATMOSPHERE
He also said this is not a strategy to trick persons into thinking that all products are healthy, but, rather, to create an atmosphere where there are options.
"I am not trying to fool them into thinking that some of the things that we make are totally healthy," he said.
"When we look at all the issues that we face, why can't we make it a little healthier? Try to make it affordable and give them the best quality you can give them."
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton fully endorsed the campaign, indicating that he expects that citizens will not have to be forced to make healthy choices but instead it will choose to employ healthy lifestyle practices.
"This is an unusual campaign which I admire and find very interesting. I hope will be a trendsetter for others to follow. The issue of choice and the right to choose can be identified as a universal principle that one should promote. As a legislator, I'm not overly anxious to legislate the choices people make. I most prefer to inform and encourage them to inform themselves so that they make choices which are in their best interest," he said.