During the week of May 17, organizations around the world are raising awareness about how being overweight can lead to high blood pressure, or hypertension. Hypertension is caused when blood pressure becomes too high and stays high, often without obvious warning signs. Hypertension causes damage to the arteries, weakens organs, and can cause blood clots. All of this significantly increases risk of strokes, heart attacks and kidney disease. Each year, seven-million people worldwide die because of high blood pressure. In Nova Scotia, almost one third of adults have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Women are slightly more likely to suffer from the condition than men and rates are considerably higher, close to 70 per cent, for people with diabetes. Being overweight is a growing concern for Nova Scotians. We are facing twin epidemics of unhealthy eating and physical inactivity. Almost 60 per cent of people over 18 are overweight or obese, and about half of adults are inactive. About 25 per cent of boys and 20 per cent of girls in Grade 3 are overweight and only 35 per cent of Nova Scotians meet the recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables. Two good ways to monitor your weight are to regularly keep tabs on your waist size and body mass index (BMI). Extra weight, particularly around the waist, increases your risk of hypertension, as well as other chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. A health-care professional can measure your waist size, help you calculate your body mass index and provide the best target weight for you. A healthy weight can be achieved by eating a healthy diet and increasing physical activity. Cutting down on foods such as cheese, chips, bacon and sauces, eating fewer processed and fast foods, reducing your portion size, and limiting consumption of alcohol are some ways to do this. Information to help increase fruit and vegetable intake is available on the Department of Health Promotion and Protection’s fruit and vegetable campaign website at www.freshcannedfrozen.com . Staying active is extremely important for children and adults. Taking the stairs, getting off the bus two or three stops early, and replacing a coffee break with a walk break are easy ways to increase physical activity. You should gradually build up to 30 to 60 minutes of moderate activity per day. Another major cause of high blood pressure, high sodium intake, can be prevented by reducing the amount of salt you eat. Small steps you can take are cooking without salt, not putting a salt shaker on the table, making your own sauces instead of using store bought sauces and reading food labels for sodium content. Talk with your health-care professional about how to best maintain a healthy weight and blood pressure. If you do not already have your blood pressure checked regularly, starting this simple procedure is vital. As we age, our risk for hypertension increases and, if you have diabetes, your risk is substantially higher than the general population. It is important to know where you stand before you can take the right steps. Three provincial programs — Cardiovascular Health Nova Scotia, Diabetes Care Program of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Renal Program — have a shared interest in addressing hypertension to reduce chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and diabetes. You can help fight hypertension by personally taking action on achieving a healthy weight and blood pressure. -30-
Alluding to the centenary of the first large scale use of chemicals during the First World War, which was commemorated earlier in April this year at Ieper, Belgium, Ambassador Sadiq told the audience that the occasion reminded the international community of the horrendous consequences of chemical warfare. Sri Lanka has urged the world community to stand firm and united in combating terrorism, the Foreign Ministry said today.This call was made when Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the Netherlands and Permanent Representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Adam M.J. Sadiq addressed the 20th Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention in the Hague. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador also spoke of the relationship between the OPCW and Sri Lanka and noted “the capacity building programme on the Safe and Secure Management of Hazardous Substances held in Sri Lanka in September this year in collaboration with Holcim Lanka Ltd. He also referred to the OPCW Associate Program 2015, in which Load Star (Pvt) Company Ltd of Sri Lanka hosted the industrial attachment of two participants from Tunisia and Poland in September 2015, enabling them to gain practical experience in a sophisticated industrial environment”.The Conference of States Parties is the plenary organ comprising 192 members of the OPCW and is empowered to oversee the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Sri Lanka, as an early signatory of the CWC in January 1993, remains committed to the principles on which the OPCW was founded. (Colombo Gazette) Speaking on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka during the General Debate of the Conference, Ambassador Sadiq referring to the terrorist attacks in Paris, told the meeting, “While unreservedly condemning the recent cold-blooded terror attacks in Paris and elsewhere in the world, Sri Lanka which lost thousands of innocent lives and suffered wanton damage and destruction of property, due to terrorism, calls upon the international community to stand firm and united in combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, irrespective of the source or target of this evil menace”. In this context, he pointed out “however, even after a century of experiencing such painful human suffering, we are yet to realize a world free of chemical weapons. The world is today experiencing new waves of terrorism. With the rapid advancement of science and technology, the fear psychosis associated with the potential emergence of terrorist groups with chemical weapons capability continues to grow, demanding new preventive measures and global cooperation”.He further noted “in this backdrop, the role of the OPCW remains indispensable and vital in the global struggle towards disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The OPCW must be commended for its dedicated efforts in pursuing effective disarmament measures to prevent the re-emergence of chemical weapons and deter chemical terrorism”.