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The Healthy Caribbean Coalition

March 17th - March 23rd 2018

Sign It
Childhood Obesity Prevention Petition
The Healthy Caribbean Coalition is pleased to launch the Childhood Obesity Prevention Petition as part of our Civil Society Action Plan for 2017-2019.

Our hope is that this petition will be circulated and supported widely by all of our CSO members and partners in an effort to influence our region's leaders to champion and implement critical policies that can significantly reduce Childhood Obesity and the associated non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in our part of the world.
HCC President Sir Trevor Hassell and his grand-daughter, Sydney
The HCC plans to present this petition at the upcoming CARICOM Heads of Governments Conference in Jamaica in July - four months away! As a result, we are asking all of you to take up the challenge and to ensure that the petition is heavily circulated and signed electronically by all of your partners, your family, friends and clients or members within the next few weeks.

Pictured right are HCC President, Sir Trevor Hassell and his grand-daughter, Sydney, showing support for reducing Childhood Obesity in Barbados and the wider Caribbean as they sign the Prevention E-petition which launched today.
Join the movement! Your voice matters!

Please see the link to the petition immediately below and forward to EVERYONE!
Childhood Obesity Prevention Petition
We also need all CSOs and partners to do the following as we build momentum towards the CARICOM Summit:
  • Work with us to coordinate volunteers in your territories to go into the communities to amass hard copy signatures. 
  • Engage major influencers in your territory including Civil Society leaders, politicians and celebrities to sign the petition and send us the photos for use in our social media campaign. You should also use the photos in your local media.
  • Each of our CSO members need to send us photos or video of your staff signing the petition for use on our Facebook Page and in our weekly Roundup as we capture "Civil Society Country by Country Support!"
  • Post the Petition link on all of your social media outlets to drive support for the petition.

"More people are dying from obesity than starvation for the first time in the history of the world!"
Michael R. Bloomberg, WHO Global Ambassador for NCDs

Thank you so much for your support. We look forward to seeing those photos coming in and we will be checking in with you as the campaign moves forward. If you have any queries or ideas, please email our Communications and Advocacy Officer, Francine Charles at
Lets End Childhood Obesity
Your Voice Matters Sign Now
Sign the petition

Introducing HCC’s Newest Team Member

HCC is pleased to Introduce its newest team member - HCC Communications and Advocacy Officer - Francine Charles.
Francine will be working with the HCC on our childhood obesity prevention initiatives.
Francine Charles
Francine Charles is a communications professional with over 26 years of experience in the fields of Journalism, Broadcast media, Public Relations, and Marketing and Communications Strategy.

She has worked regionally with both private sector companies and non-governmental organisations, with a strong leaning towards developmental projects.
Francine has had the opportunity to work on advocacy projects with the Foundation for the Development of Caribbean Children (FDCC) in the promotion of early childhood stimulation and development and with both FDCC/UNICEF on an advocacy campaign for Early Birth Registration. She has also worked with the Caribbean Broadcasting Union/UNESCO and with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) on projects that advocate for greater gender equality.
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PAHO Assists with Plan of Action for Dominica School Nutrition Policy

The Ministries of Health and Education have enlisted the assistance of a Pan American Health Organization Nutrition Advisor, Dr. Audrey Morris, to facilitate the draft consultation which will lead to a Plan of Action for Dominica’s School Nutrition Policy.
Dominica Food and Nutrition Policy
Dr Morris is an experienced public health professional with 21 years of practice in the development, implementation, management and evaluation of projects, and quantitative and qualitative research focusing on nutrition, health, physical activity, food security and food safety. She consulted on PAHO’s Plan of Action for the draft School Nutrition Policy which was started in 2012.
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Schools a Health Threat Instead of Place of Safety

Jamaica Minister for Health
(LtoR) Jamaica Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton,  Heart Foundation of Jamaica Executive Director Deborah Chen and Acting Director Health System Improvement Branch Policy, Planning and Development Division in the health ministry, Jasper Barnett
SCHOOLS are putting students' lives at risk by exposing them to unhealthy foods, says Jamaica Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton.

“The school represents, in this instance, not a place of safety but, as it relates to health and wellness, the school represents a health threat to their child because of the overexposure of [some] types of foods, in this case, the sugary drink...” the minister said.

“The average child consumes up to three times more than the average citizen, based on accessibility, based on cost, based on marketing efforts, and what parents are saying in this survey is that it is a concern to us.”

The health minister made the pronouncement during the launch of a new obesity prevention public opinion survey at Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston, the results of which were released by the Heart Foundation of Jamaica (HFJ) and the Ministry of Health, Jamaica Moves, with technical support from global health organisation Vital Strategies.
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HCC Featured in NCD Alliance Video

The second Global NCD Alliance Forum took place in December 2017 in Sharjah, UAE. More than 350 leaders from civil society gathered during three days to discuss how to work better together, and step the pace on noncommunicable diseases prevention and control.

Barbados Loses a Round in NCD Fight

Alafia Samuels
Professor Alafia Samuels, Director of the George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre and HCC Technical Advisor
Barbados government’s haste to grab tax revenue, a determination of distributors to sell their product regardless of health consequences, and fluctuation in the Trinidad currency have combined to dull the intended effect of a sin tax on sugary drinks.

With one in five persons afflicted by diabetes in its general population, and that ratio increasing to one out of every two adults above the age of 65, health officials convinced the Barbados government that radical action is needed against non-communicable diseases (NCD), and sugar should be targeted. This resulted in a 10 percent surtax being slapped on all local and imported sugar-sweetened beverages in 2015.

Lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Professor Alafia Samuels, said that the sugary drinks were singled out because, “the Caribbean has the highest consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in the world. On average, people in the Caribbean drink two sugar-sweetened beverages per person per day,” and this is the main reason that, “four out of 10 women are obese, and two out of 10 men are obese”.
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Caribbean Flavours Supports Manufacturers In Reducing Sugar Content

Reduce Sugar Content
Caribbean Flavours and Fragrances (CFF) says it is lending support to manufacturers by introducing a plant-based flavouring aimed at naturally reducing the sugar content of beverages without compromising the taste of the products or the health of consumers.

Chief Executive Officer of CFF Derrick Cotterell says his company is introducing "tried and tested science" that has been around for more than 10 years, which will allow Jamaica to catch up with many other countries in the world.
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Eat Well, Exercise or be Publicly Fat-shamed!

Eat Well, Exercise or be Publicly Fat-shamed!
The fast-food industry spends billions to convince us we have no time to make a meal, so dine with them! It's business, but our naivety by miseducation means we are obese. We had kwashiorkor and “mirasmi”, bypassed 'fit nation' status, and went straight to “fatty boom, boom!”

Writing in the Jamaica Observer, Dr Karen Philips said, “Locally, 20 per cent of Jamaican adults are categorised as obese, with 32 per cent classified as overweight [and] childhood obesity is reaching epidemic proportions.” Then, “According to Professor Fitzroy Henry… obesity rates among adults [were] 60 per cent in 2016.” (Observer, March 28, 2017)
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WHO: BreatheLife - How Air Pollution Impacts Your Body

Air pollution is an invisible killer that lurks all around us, preying on the young and old. Learn how it slips unnoticed past our body's defenses causing deaths from heart attack, strokes, lung disease and cancer.

Norway has Raised its Sugar Tax to 83%

Norwegian Sugar Tax
Norway has had a tax on added sugar since 1922. But it decided to hike this tax by an enormous 83% at the start of 2018, with products like sweets and chocolates now taxed at $4.69 per kilo.

Many governments have had considerable success in using tax rises as a way to deter people from smoking and drinking alcohol, but will a sugar tax work in reducing obesity?

Norway’s sugar consumption is already considerably lower than some countries, averaging 27kgs a year, compared to 34kgs a year for the average American. And only one in six children is overweight in Norway, according to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, compared to one in three children in the UK and US.
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Public Health England 400 600 600 Calorie Camapign

400 600 600
When we're out and about it's easy to eat more than we should – on average we're eating an extra 200-300 calories every day! Follow our simple tip, aim for 400-600-600* to help you stay on track at mealtimes. That's around 400 calories for breakfast, 600 calories for lunch and 600 for dinner – leaving room for a couple of healthy snacks and drinks.

It's all part of a healthy balanced diet of 2,000 calories a day for women and 2,500 calories for men in line with the Eatwell Guide.
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Key Messages From Our Publications
Sugar in the Caribbean
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HCC Publications

Preventing Childhood Obesity in the Caribbean
Civil Society action Plan
Preventing Childhood Obesity in the Caribbean
Read more
A Closer Look: The Implementation of Taxation on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages by the Government of Barbados
Read more
See All HCC Publications
Forthcoming Events

Barbados Association of Palliative Care Presents “All With You” In Concert

Saturday, 12th May 2018, 7 pm, at the Royal Barbados Police Band Headquarters, Station Hill, St. Michael.

Admission: $25.00 (Refreshments on Sale), for more information contact Deiann Sobers at

Cancer Support Services Special Benefit Concert

Cancer Support Services Special Benefit Concert
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World No Tobacco Day, 31 May 2018

World No Tobacco Day, 31 May 2018
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The 3rd Annual Caribbean Nutrition Conference

Hosted by the Caribbean Institute of Nutrition & Dietetics (CIND) at the Hilton Barbados from June 6 - 8th, 2018
Garden To Plate
Read more

The 5th Biennial 2018 Science of Global Prostate Cancer

November 7 - 10th, 2018 at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria.
Call for Abstracts
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Caribbean Cardiology Conference 2018

Caribbean Cardiology Conference 2018
Read more

World Cancer Conference 2018

World Cancer Conference 2018
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The NCD Alliance
  • Op-Ed: Turning the tide on avoidable deaths in Africa
  • UN HLM on NCDs: Resources for action
  • Dialogue will explore financing for NCDs prevention & control
  • Mother's Day: Action needed on cervical cancer in MENA
  • 15th International Conference on Urban Health, 26-30 Nov
  • City Food Policy Symposium
  • Share your research: WCC2018
  • WHPCA seeks a Palliative Care Direct Stakeholder Trustee
  • New watchdog will monitor Big Tobacco, raise awareness
Read more
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HCC News Roundup Archive - If you have missed any of our News Roundups you can view previous Roundups on our News Roundup Archive webpage here.
The HCC is a regional network of Caribbean health NGOs and civil society organizations with the remit to combat chronic diseases (NCDs) and their associated risk factors and conditions. Our membership presently consists of more than 65 Caribbean-based health NGOs and over 55 not-for-profit organisations and, in excess of 200 individual members based in the Caribbean and across the globe.

To join the HCC email us at
The work of HCC would not be possible without core funding from Sagicor Life Inc
Sagicor Life Inc.
The HCC promote the work of civil society throughout the Caribbean in a variety of ways including sharing of their materials, this is not an endorsement of their materials or messages. The information contained in this newsletter is for general information purposes only, we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct but any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. Through this newsletter you are able to link to other websites which are not under the control of the HCC. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.
Copyright © 2018 Healthy Caribbean Coalition, All rights reserved.

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