The Healthy Caribbean Coalition

February 3rd - February 9th 2017


Childhood Obesity in the Caribbean - The Time to Act it Now

The Time to Act is Now
This past week CARPHA/CARICOM/PAHO hosted a historic Meeting to Develop a Roadmap on Multi-Sectoral Action in Countries to Prevent Childhood Obesity through Improved Food and Nutrition Security at the CXC Headquarters in Barbados. Dr. Anselm Hennis, Director of the Department NCDs and Mental Health at PAHO placed this potential development crisis in perspective and underscored the critical importance of partnerships, when he commented at the outset of the meeting that: ‘...This is the first time in the history of humanity - 200,000 years - that our children will be fatter than their parents. This is an urgent issue. We need to move beyond planning and talking to implementing through our collective expertise and know how. The time to act is now.’

Dr. James Hospedales, Executive Director, CARPHA, and the brainchild behind the meeting, referred to it’s historic nature as the first time key regional agencies including CXC, CARDI, CARIAD, CCJ, CDB, CLIC, UWI/CDRC/HEU, CMC, CCS, CRFM, CROSQ, FAO, IICA and the HCC, came together to carve out roles and responsibilities under an ambitious roadmap to prevent childhood obesity over the next four years. Representatives from the Ministry of Health in Mexico and the Ministry of Health in Chile were present to share the Mexico experience of taxes on SSBs and the Chile experience in Food Nutritional composition and food marketing legislation, respectively. The Barbados Ministry of Health was also present to share local experiences including implementation of the SSB tax. 2 key meeting outputs were: a high level program of joint-work/roadmap towards implementation of the 6-point policy package; and a Meeting Declaration.

HCC was well represented by President, Sir Trevor Hassell; Executive Director, Maisha Hutton; HCC Consultant Dr. Beverley Barnett; HCC Policy Advisor, Nicole Foster; HCC Trade Policy Advisor, Vincent Atkins; and HCC Project Assistant, Hannah Ridgeon. One of HCC's major contributions to the roadmap will be under policy area 2.1 (Mandatory national nutrition standards for all foods provided and sold in schools and early childhood services, based on regional guideline) and will the launch of a regional advocacy campaign aimed at banning of SSBs in Caribbean schools.  The importance of civil society in this journey was emphasized Dr. Douglas Slater, Assistant Secretary General, Human and Social Development, CARICOM Secretariat when he remarked in his next steps that 'HCC is a major partner after all, the majority of people that we will be working to benefit are represented by civil society.’ HCC is pleased to note that civil society will be represented on the Technical Committee, charged with the task of moving the roadmap forward; thus ensuring the voice of the people is integrated in the planning and implementation process around this regional multi-stakeholder, multi-sector regional roadmap.

For more information on the meeting, please contact Ms. Christine Bocage, Senior Technical Officer, Food Safety and Nutrition at CARPHA on

To see photos from the meeting click here.
Related Publications:
Sugar in the Caribbean
HCC's 'Sugar in the Caribbean' Infographics All of the HCC's 'Sugar in the Caribbean' Infographics can be found here.
A Closer Look, The Implementation of Taxation on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages by the Government of Barbados
HCC Brief: 'A Closer Look, The Implementation of Taxation on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages by the Government of Barbados

This policy brief provides an overview of the approaches used by the Barbados Ministry of Finance in the adoption of sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) taxation. 

Read more
More on this meeting:
CARPHA Media Release - The Regional Response to Childhood Obesity Intensifies
The Regional Response to Childhood Obesity Intensifies
Childhood obesity continues to be a serious public health concern in the Region.  Statistics show that more than 30% of our Caribbean adolescents are overweight or obese, and risk developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases later in life.  The economic burden of diabetes and hypertension alone is estimated at between 1.4% and 8% of GDP in the Caribbean, thus creating a significant drain on Caribbean economies, and threatening development prospects.
Recognising the critical need for leadership and cross sectoral action to address this health issue, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and with funding from CDB hosted a meeting to develop a roadmap to prevent childhood obesity through improved food and nutrition security. Read more

Campaign to Ban Sweet Drinks in Schools

The time may come in Barbados when the sale of sweetened beverages will be banned in schools.

Next week, the start of a region-wide civil society advocacy campaign and programme aimed at banning the sale, marketing, promotion and availability of sugar sweetened beverages, will be announced, at the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) regional, multi-stakeholder workshop, in Antigua.
Sir Trevor Hassell HCC President
President of the HCC Professor Trevor Hassell, who is also Government’s special envoy on NCDs, told The Barbados Advocate that there was now a global recognition that the consumption of sugar is contributing significantly to an epidemic of obesity and overweight among children.

“As a result of that, something like a third of our children in our schools, are overweight and obese. The reality is that many of our children consume these sugar sweetened beverages on the school premises.
“And so what we are saying is, one of the things we should do, is we should discourage and even ban, the sale, promotion and marketing of sugar sweetened beverages in schools. And, this has been recommended by the World Health Organisation. It would be a very positive development. We, both children and adults, are just simply drinking too many sugar sweetened beverages,” he said.

Professor Hassell spoke about the initiative, following the opening ceremony of a Regional High Level Meeting to Develop a Roadmap on Multi-Sectoral Action in Caribbean Countries to Prevent Childhood Obesity through Improved Food and Nutrition Security, at the Barbados Yacht Club, on Wednesday. Read more
FCTC Call for interest
HCC Urges Eligible Caribbean Countries to apply
FCTC 2030 - Strengthening WHO FCTC implementation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
Consistent with decisions made by the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the Convention Secretariat has initiated a new project to assist Parties to strengthen implementation of the treaty.

The importance of tobacco control in promoting development is recognised in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including specific reference to WHO FCTC implementation in target 3.a. Given the impact of tobacco on development, the implementation of the Convention will play an important role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The FCTC 2030 project aims to support Parties to the WHO FCTC that are eligible to receive official development assistance (ODA) to achieve the SDGs by advancing implementation of the Convention. The project will run from April 2017 until March 2021.

Read more and apply here.

HCC Welcomes the BVI Cancer Society

the BVI Cancer Society
BVI Cancer Society
The BVI Cancer Society is a voluntary committed and caring team who's mission it is to create cancer awareness throughout the entire Virgin Islands, to emphasize the importance of healthy lifestyle and to curb the ill effects of cancer. They have a sense of civic duty to educate the populace, raise funds and to assist needy persons who are living with cancer and persons who are cancer survivors.
NCD Alliance

NCD Alliance Webinar

The NCD Alliance will be holding a webinar on Tuesday 14 February from 10:00–11:30 EST // 16:00 – 17:30 CET // 15.00-16.30 GMT, to discuss updates from the 140th WHO Executive Board, progress on global physical activity policy, the 2018 UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs, and preparations for the UN Commission on the Status of Women and UN High-Level Political Forum.

Participants may submit questions prior to the webinar by emailing in advance. Participants will also be able to send questions and feedback during the webinar. The PowerPoint slides and a recording will be available on the NCD Alliance website after the webinar. Register here

Jamaicans Urged To Adopt A Healthy Lifestyle To Prevent Heart Disease

Heart Foundation of Jamaica
The Ministry of Health in association with the Heart Foundation of Jamaica is urging Jamaicans to adopt healthy lifestyle habits to prevent cardiovascular diseases.

Portfolio minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton, noted that cardiovascular disease is one of the non-communicable diseases (NCD) which accounts for 34.8 per cent or 6,476 of all death in Jamaicans over five years old. Read more

REI Fashion Academy Donation to Cancer Support Sevices

Cancer Support Services Receives Donation from REI
Cancer Support Services is indeed grateful to REI Fashion Academy for their unwavering support of the Charity’s programmes over the years. Recently REI’s #IslandPink Ambassador Megghan Michael presented the President of Cancer Support Services Ms. Kathy-Ann Kelly-Springer with a donation of $1,000.00 towards the Charity’s on-going programmes.

Forthcoming Events for CSS:
  • PSA Testing Saturday March 4, 2017, 10am-2pm
  • Hymns My Mother Taught Me, Sunday May 14, 2017, 5pm.
Find out more here.

2017 Student Research Paper Contest

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) announces its 2017 Student Research Paper Contest. PCD is looking for high school, undergraduate and graduate students, medical residency and recent post-doctoral fellows to submit papers relevant to the prevention, screening, surveillance, and/or population-based intervention of chronic diseases, including but not limited to arthritis, asthma, cancer, depression, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.

PCD is a peer-reviewed electronic journal established to provide a forum for researchers and practitioners in chronic disease prevention and health promotion. The journal is published weekly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Read more

Can Burnt Toast and Roasted Potatoes Cause Cancer?

Roasted Potatoes
(CNN) - The Food Standards Agency in the UK launched a campaign Monday to warn about cancer risks linked to eating burnt toast, over-roasted potatoes and other starchy foods cooked at high temperatures.

The campaign is based on longstanding evidence from animal studies in 2002, but the link is yet to be proved in human studies. Some experts are highlighting that other lifestyle factors pose much greater cancer risks, such as smoking and obesity. Read more

Related media coverage:

International Women in Wellness Conference 2017

Yes She Can
Register here.

Funding and Training Opportunities

Tobacco Use and HIV in Low and Middle Income Countries (R01) Research Project Grant. Open Date: March 4, 2017

Tobacco Use and HIV in Low and Middle Income Countries (R21) Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant. Open Date: March 4, 2017

Apply to the NCI Summer Curriculum in Cancer Prevention. Registration is now OPEN to all applicants and is required due to space limitations. The deadline for all applicants is February 15, 2017.

Implementation Science for the Prevention and Treatment of Mental and/or Substance Use Disorders in Low- and Middle-income Countries (U01) Research Project – Cooperative Agreements. Open date: March 7, 2017

Call for mental health research proposals. The deadline for applications will be 11 April 2017, 4.00pm BST (3.00pm UTC)
Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados
#Endo | #CVD
We continue our focus on Women... 

Paediatric Stroke
When the topic of a ‘Stroke’ is raised, most people think or visualize an adult woman or man

Read more here
NCD Alliance Newsletter
  • Join our February webinar
  • Accountability in focus 
  • #FeastOfIdeas wrap up
  • Caribbean Cancer Advocacy Agenda Launched 
  • Dementia: together towards a new era
Read more

From the NCD Alliance Weekly Digest

NCDs News Risk Factors News
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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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