The Healthy Caribbean Coalition

January 6th - January 12th 2017


The HCC is Proud to Launch this Seminal Report on Tobacco Control Advocacy in the Caribbean

The HCC is Proud to Launch this Seminal Report on Tobacco Control Advocacy in the Caribbean
The HCC is honoured to release this seminal report on 'Civil Society Led Tobacco Control Advocacy in the Caribbean - The experiences of the Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control (JCTC)'. The JCTC has recorded remarkable and measurable success. It has been a champion for the implementation of the articles under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), successfully advocating for legislation in Jamaica despite considerable tobacco industry interference. Its work has been recognised and applauded both regionally and globally.

We believe this report, and the experiences and lessons learned from the JCTC, will serve as a resource for civil society NCD advocacy for years to come. We hope that it will be used to bring about the enactment of tobacco control legislation by CARICOM countries as called for in the FCTC which has been ratified by almost all CARICOM countries. The need for action by CARICOM countries in this important area of NCD prevention continues to be of critical importance and requires strong and sustained advocacy by CSOs. Read the full report here.

The Report was also featured in the latest NCD Alliance Newsletter and on their website here.

Current Controls on Alcohol Marketing Are Not Protecting Youth, Warn Public Health Experts

Leading public health experts warn that youth around the world are exposed to extensive alcohol marketing, and that current controls on that marketing appear ineffective in blocking the association between youth exposure and subsequent drinking.  Alcohol is the leading cause of death and disability for young males aged 15-24 in nearly every region of the world, and young females of the same age in the wealthy countries and the Americas.

The experts call for governments around the world to renew their efforts to address the problem by strengthening the rules governing alcohol marketing with more effective independent statutory regulations. Their call coincides with the publication of a series of reports in a supplement to the scientific journal Addiction that presents the latest evidence on alcohol marketing and its impact on children. Key findings from the collection of peer-reviewed manuscripts include:
  • Exposure to alcohol marketing is associated with youth alcohol consumption
  • Analysis of alcohol promotion during the 2014 FIFA World Cup indicates alcohol marketing practices frequently appeared to breach industry voluntary codes of practice’ 
  • Alcohol industry self-regulatory codes do not sufficiently protect children and adolescents from exposure to alcohol promotions, especially through social media
The Addiction supplement Alcohol marketing regulation: From research to public policy comprises 14 papers, with research presented from around the world and is free to download here.

A webinar took place this week to coincide with the launch of the supplement and the PowerPoint presentations form that webinar can be viewed/downloaded below.
There is much work to be done in Caribbean in this area.  In the Americas, Chile, Suriname, Brazil and Paraguay are among those moving National Alcohol Policies forward. In the Caribbean, Jamaica, and Grenada are drafting National Policies. Civil society must begin to focus advocacy efforts on this important public health issue highlighting marketing of alcohol to young people as an urgent issue.  

Although we do not have the research linking advertising and consumption in the Caribbean, external studies such as those featured here make the case. Our young people* in T&T are already listed as having the highest recorded Heavy Episodic Drinking rates in the Americas.  As a Caribbean CSO community, we should adopt the strategy of regarding this a Human Rights issue.  

As a society we need to call on our regional governments to protect the most vulnerable, namely children and populations at higher risk of harm from negative health effects of alcohol. Most, if not all CARICOM governments have signed on to the Universal Rights of the Child. Precedents have been set within the context of protecting children from the marketing of infant milk substitutes and tobacco products.  

The HCC applauds the UKHF and we will continue to support regional and global CSO led advocacy in support of the development and implementation of alcohol related policies which protect human health as called for in our recent 'First Annual Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day: Misuse of alcohol is a bigger problem than you think'. Read more
HCC Alcohol Policy
Related articles about alcohol advertising can be found online:

Soft Drinks Too Sweet

Soft Drinks Too Sweet
The sugar sweetened beverage (SSB) survey conducted by HCC was featured in the Barbados Nation Newspaper, highlighting the fact that soft drinks contain too much refined sugar.

Soft Drinks Manufactured in Barbados have been found to carry alarmingly high levels of refined sugar which present a clear and present danger to the health of the country, a recent survey by the Healthy Caribbean Coalition has revealed. And one of this country's leading medical doctors, and president of the Coalition, a regional non-governmental organsation established to combat the effects of chronic diseases is suggesting that that soft drink manufacturers and all those who produce sugar-sweetened beverages for sale in Barbados, review the sugar content in their products as a priority. Read the full feature here.

The HCC SSB Brief 'A Closer Look, The Implementation of Taxation on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages by the Government of Barbados' can be found here.

The HCC Sugar in the Caribbean Infographics can be found here.
HCC Director Appointed Speaker of the House of Representatives in Belize
Congratulations to HCC Director, Mrs Laura Tucker Longsworth MSN, RN, OBE on her appointment to Speaker of The House of Representatives in Belize.

Mrs Longsworth is a founding member and current President of the Belize Cancer Society (BCS), she represents the BCS on the National Cervical Cancer Committee and the Non-Communicable Disease Commission in Belize.
Mrs Longsworth is a founding member and current President of the Belize Cancer Society (BCS), she represents the BCS on the National Cervical Cancer Committee and the Non-Communicable Disease Commission in Belize.

Mrs Longsworth is Chairperson of the Disciplinary Committee for the Nurses and Midwives Council of Belize and Chairs the National AIDS Commission, she will make history as the country’s third appointed female House Speaker in the House of Representatives.

Public Lecture: Taxation of Sugar Sweetened Beverages - Does it Improve Health?

Public Lecture: Taxation of Sugar Sweetened Beverages - Does it Improve Health?
On 20 January, the University of the West Indies is hosting a public lecture, featuring regional and international experts, which explores this critical issue.

Date: Friday January 20, 2017
Time: 11:00am 
Venue: The Solutions Centre ‘Shell Suite’ UWI, Cave Hill Campus.
Contact: Joan Tull, Project Information and Communication Officer, Port of Spain NCD Declaration Evaluation Group, Tel: + 246 233 3770 or email:
WHO - A New You in the New Year

PAHO Warns of Tobacco Epidemic in the Caribbean

PAHO Warns of Tobacco Epidemic in the Caribbean
WASHINGTON, United States (CMC) - The director of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), Dr Carissa Etienne, has warned about what she described as the tobacco epidemic in the Americas, including the Caribbean, saying that though the devastating health effects of tobacco use are well known, tobacco’s negative repercussions extend well beyond the obvious health outcomes.

Tobacco consumption creates a significant economic burden on societies because of both the high costs of health care and the associated lost productivity,” said the Dominican-born Etienne, writing in the Pan American Journal of Public Health. Read more

Antigua & Barbuda Government to Pass Laws to Boost Healthy Lifestyles

Antigua & Barbuda Government to Pass Laws to Boost Healthy Lifestyles
The Ministry of Health is asking Antiguans and Barbudans to commit to lifestyle changes, as the government plans to pass legislation that would discourage the consumption of tobacco, alcohol, and excessive amounts of sugar and salt as a part of an ‘aggressive’ wellness programme. Speaking at Wednesday’s Cabinet report, Minister of Health Molwyn Joseph said legislation would be passed to deal with food products that contribute to cancer. Read more

CORE Youth Movement Program

CORE Youth Movement Program
In November, PSI-Caribbean asked parents to "Put Exercise On Your Teen's Playlist" 

As part of our non-communicable disease prevention effort, we initiated a recruitment drive to rally participants for our Fun, Fitness & Nutrition program which starts in January and runs for 8 weeks. In partnership with Movement Mechanics, PSI-Caribbean's CORE Youth Movement Program is open to males and females ages 13-16.

There are still a few spaces left and participants are not required to have any prior exposure to fitness programs.
For more information call PSI-Caribbean - 623-2497.

A Big Fat Loss for Trinidad and Tobago

A Big Fat Loss for Trinidad and Tobago
By Ian Ho-a-Shu and Natalie Wegener Carmona. It’s no secret that being overweight or obese puts people at higher risk for illnesses such as heart disease, hypertension, certain cancers and Type 2 Diabetes. Obesity comes with financial costs at the individual and population levels, but we all know there is no way to put a price on personal good health and wellness.

As obesity continues to build towards an epidemic, the crisis has become more than a health risk, it is now an economic threat. In Trinidad and Tobago, Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) account for 80 percent of deaths and are mainly due to heart disease, hypertension, cerebrovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and chronic respiratory illness. NCDs tend to occur early in a person’s lifespan, primarily affecting the working-age population, reducing productivity and imposing an estimated loss of 383,254 Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALY) each year, the largest figure per capita among Caribbean countries. Read more
Diabetes Discourse
  • Jamboree 2016
  • Thank You to Our Supporters
  • Jamboree and Cancer Workshop Highlights
  • Clergyman awarded medal for living 70 years with Type 1 diabetes
  • BCDF 2017 Rainbow Calendar of Events
  • Poster Competition Results
  • Thank you for cancer workshop
  • Breakfast & Diabetes Awareness Morning
Einstein International Journal Organization(EIJO)

Utility of Body Mass Index and Abdominal Obesity Indices to Evaluate Overweight and Obesity in Tobagonian School Children

Globally, the prevalence of overweight and obesity in childhood is increasing. In the Caribbean, at least one in every five children carries unhealthy weight, and risks developing chronic diseases like diabetes in adulthood. In Trinidad and Tobago one in four, one in three, and 25% of school-aged children have been reported to be overweight or obese. This study examined the prevalence of overweight and obesity among 6 to 13 year-old Tobagonian school children utilizing body mass index (BMI) and other abdominal obesity indices, and described the relationships among them. Body weight, height and waist circumference (WC) were measured. Read the full paper here.

Is Sugar the World’s Most Popular Drug?

Is Sugar the World’s Most Popular Drug?
It eases pain, seems to be addictive and shows every sign of causing long-term health problems. Is it time to quit sugar for good? Imagine a drug that can intoxicate us, can infuse us with energy and can be taken by mouth. It doesn’t have to be injected, smoked, or snorted for us to experience its sublime and soothing effects. Imagine that it mixes well with virtually every food and particularly liquids, and that when given to infants it provokes a feeling of pleasure so profound and intense that its pursuit becomes a driving force throughout their lives. Read more

5th Annual Symposium on Global Cancer Research: Integrating Cancer Research for Improved Global Health

5th Annual Symposium on Global Cancer Research
National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland In conjunction with the 8th Annual CUGH Conference. Co-Sponsored by NCI Center for Global Health and CUGH. Registration to open January 30, 2017. For more information, please contact

How the World Got Fat: A Visualisation of Global Obesity Over 40 Years

How the World Got Fat
Last year, a network of health scientists from around the world set out to create the most comprehensive portrait of world obesity ever produced. The researchers compiled results from 1,698 studies on adult obesity, covering 186 countries, 19.2 million participants, and spanning 40 years. And they condensed it all into a single study, published earlier this year in the Lancet medical journal. 

And here are the full results, presented in one eye-opening graphic. Read more

International Women in Wellness Conference 2017

Yes She Can
Register here.

Lawsuit: Coca Cola Uses False Advertising to Sell Unhealthy Drinks

Coca Cola Uses False Advertising to Sell Unhealthy Drinks
A new lawsuit alleges executives from the soda company recruited researchers to distract attention from their product’s negative health effects. Coca-Cola, the world’s largest sugar-sweetened beverage maker, has knowingly diverted the unhealthy effects of sugary drinks through misinformation and false advertising, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday. Read more

Taxation and Other Economic Incentives as Health-promoting Tools: A Focus on Tobacco, Alcohol and Unhealthy Diets

A Conference taking place at the University of Liverpool London Campus, 17th January 2017. Governments across the world increasingly recognise the urgency of lowering the alarming rates of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) resulting in large part from the consumption of commodities such as tobacco, alcoholic beverages and unhealthy foods. As evidence shows price is a major determinant of consumption choices, and taxation and other economic measures may act as a disincentive to the consumption of these commodities, policy makers have started to use these instruments as part of their NCD prevention strategies. Read more
Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados
Heart Attacks May Be More Common...

Alternative Dietary Habits...
Why don't persons follow a healthy diet?

Aphasia & Intelligence...
by Sharon Harris. Speech Therapist

Read more here
NCD Alliance Newsletter
  • Healthy Caribbean Coalition releases new report on civil society tobacco control advocacy in Jamaica
  • January 2017 Webinar - recording & slides now online
  • Support through Sport: 2017 World Cancer Day Campaign
  • Renewed call for stronger action on alcohol marketing
  • New monograph on economics of tobacco and tobacco control
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 50 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.
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