ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Principal of the Sir Mc Chesney George Secondary School in Barbuda John Mussington is calling into question a survey conducted by the Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS), which indicated that the Sister Isle has higher levels of obesity among youth in comparison to Antigua.
According to the principal, youth on Barbuda are very active. He said they can often be found swimming, playing basketball, football, cricket or engaging in some form of outdoor activity. Therefore, the claim that youth on the sister isle are overweight and obese, he said, is more than surprising.
Mussington said bearing in mind the population size and the fact that Antigua has far more fast food outlets than Barbuda, the statistics from the survey begs further enquiring.
“I question the validity of the study. I would love to see the criteria that it kept with and the sample size because quite possibly the results that were obtained in terms of statistics could be skewed or the interpretation of the information could be off,” he said.
Matron of the Hanna Thomas Hospital Theresa Punter agreed with Mussington’s statements.
In her 20 years of working at the hospital, she said cases of overweight or obese youths have been few. In fact, she said, the cause of concern is more for the adult population.
The survey was conducted by the Medical Benefits Scheme in conjunction with the School Outreach Programme in 2006 to 2009.
Four hundred and three adolescents between the ages of 11 to 17 years of age in eight secondary schools, both public and private, were screened for hypertension, glucose levels and symptoms of diabetes.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)