The Nigerian Navy on Thursday stated that it would make the Body Mass Index (BMI), one of the major criteria for promoting its personnel and allocating courses to its officers and men.
The BMI is the measurement of a person’s weight with respect to his or her height. It also indicates a person’s total body fat, with normal range falling between 18.5 and 24.9.
The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Central Naval Command, Yenagoa, Rear Admiral Saidu Garba, made this declaration during the maiden edition of a wellness lecture with the theme: “Harnessing Good Health Through Prescribed Medical Lifestyle” at the command’s headquarters in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Garba urged officers to take the issue of fitness seriously so that they could benefit from the wide range of welfare available.
He explained that the lecture was a proof that the Nigerian Navy placed a lot of emphasis on the physical and mental health of its personnel, adding that the programme was packaged to enable personnel to appreciate the need to be medically and mentally fit to undertake all operations.
“The Nigerian Navy places emphasis on physical, mental and medical fitness of its personnel and this is in line with the fact that we want to ensure that they are certified okay to undertake every operations required of them.
“Recently, the Nigerian Navy introduced the Body Mass Index scale as a measure of fitness to ensure all of us are fit to undertake our regular routine operational activities and it is going to be used as a criterion for both promotion as well as availability of courses and operations.
“In order for personnel to know their status, we introduced this lecture so that some preventable ailments can be avoided. It will be quarterly so that we can reach others who are on the field to enhance the health, wellness and fitness of our personnel.”
“Our annual programmes show we have to undertake a series of events like swimming, football championship, the thug-of-war games and so many others which we concluded a few days ago. We will ensure that those men on the field and in the waterways get this very important information as it will be done in batches,” he said.
In her lecture, the guest speaker, Dr. Susan Adam, a fitness and wellness expert, said the programme was scheduled to encourage all participants to be conscious of their health status.
“We recognise that a lot has been done and already put in place for them (officers) to be proactive but we think something extra could be done to enhance their health. They have to deliberately prevent some things, watch their BMI and what to eat, and how to eat them” she said.
Adam advised the officers and men to embrace natural foods in the place of processed foods, adding that food was capable of healing many ailments.
“Vegetables have so much to offer in terms of healing us. We can’t run away from nature. Awareness has to be created that there’s something called ‘healthy living.’ It will be a learned habit and it doesn’t happen overnight,” Adam stressed.