Saint Lucia Ministry of Health to regulate sale of soft drinks

soft drinkThe Ministry of Health and Wellness (of Saint Lucia) is embarking on a campaign to discontinue the sale of soda pop, or soft drinks on school compounds.

The highly sweetened fizzy drink is known to have disastrous effects on health. Regular consumption of soda is linked to diabetes, heart disease, obesity, asthma, cavities among others.

On Nov. 23, Chief Nutritionist Lisa Hunt Mitchell hosted one of several meetings with school principals from Districts 5, 6 and 7 to discuss the best way to reduce the consumption of soda among the youth. She said the intention is not to place a hole in the pockets of the local manufacturers, but instead, to ensure a healthier nation.

“We are aware of the negative impacts of soft drinks, so the Ministry of Health is engaging school principals, so that they can be supportive in trying to curtail the sale of soft drinks at the schools. We want to encourage the children to drink more water, instead of juices or soft drinks. Sweetened beverages are bad for the health in general, but soft drinks have added ingredients such as caffeine, phosphoric acid, and colourings that are far worse. These ingredients have very negative effects on the health.”

Read more at: Government of Saint Lucia

Obesity, physical inactivity put women at excess risk of diabetes

Diabetes: a blood glucose test is used to check the level of sugar in the blood of this woman. Photo: WHO/PAHO/Sebastián Oliel
Diabetes: a blood glucose test is used to check the level of sugar in the blood of this woman. Photo: WHO/PAHO/Sebastián Oliel

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. 17 November 2017.   Diabetes, a major contributor to premature death, is estimated to affect 10-15% of the adult population in the Caribbean Region. The disease is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke and responsible for high rates of complications, such as lower limb amputation.

The risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes are obesity (Body Mass Index (BMI) ≥30), abdominal obesity, physical inactivity, tobacco smoking, unhealthy diets and metabolic syndrome. Obesity is the strongest modifiable risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes in the Caribbean.

CARPHA Director for Surveillance, Prevention and Control Dr. Virginia Asin-Oostburg has said, “Studies have revealed that women in the Caribbean have higher rates of obesity in terms of BMIs compared to men.  They also have higher rates of abdominal obesity, and likely to be 3 times more obese than men.” She also stated that, “Obesity and physical inactivity put women at excess risk of diabetes. This is confirmed by the very high levels of diabetes among women in the Region.”  (more…)

Get active, diet, to reduce NCDs – PM Holness

Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is encouraging the regional populace to get active and diet to reduce non communicable diseases (NCDs).

See the Facebook post the Prime Minister made earlier today (Wednesday 12 July, 2017):

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CARICOM Heads renew commitment to tackle NCDs

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Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have given a renewed commitment to tackling non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in their countries. The matter was raised by  Prime Minister Mitchell during the closing press conference of the  38th CARICOM Summit, in Grand Anse, Grenada. In speaking to the issue, Prime Minister Mitchell  highlighted that it had been 10 years since the historic Port-of-Spain Declaration on NCDs.

The Grenadian Prime Minister said the Heads were aware that the Region had  fallen behind in the battle against these deadly diseases and also in fulfilling the goals of the declaration.  He said one of the most alarming signs was the high incidents of childhood obesity, a major risk factor for NCDs

“We simply cannot afford to continue the lifestyle and food consumption patterns which are literally killing us”, he said.


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‘CARICOM Today’ to Livestream ‘Reduce Obesity’ event

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  Event:  Opening Ceremony of the Regional High Level Meeting to Reduce Obesity

Date:   Wednesday 8th February, 2017 

Time:   5:00 p.m.

CARPHA_logoVenue: Barbados Yacht Club, Barbados

Feature speakers include:

  • Dr C. James Hospedales, Executive Director, CARPHA
  • Mr Joseph Cox, Assistant Secretary General, Trade and Economic Integration, CARICOM Secretariat
  • Mrs Jessie Schutt-Aine, Subregional Program Coordinator, PAHO
  • Hon. Luke Brown, Chairman, Council for Human and Social Development
  • John D. E. Boyce, Minister of Health, Barbados

The Caribbean is in the midst of a childhood obesity epidemic.  Statistics show at least one in every five children carries unhealthy weight and is at risk of developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.  To address this concern, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), in collaboration with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) will convene a Regional High Level Meeting to Develop a Roadmap on Multi-sectoral Action to Prevent Childhood Obesity through Improved Food and Nutrition Security.  

Join us here on CARICOM Today to follow the Opening Ceremony. Live!