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Healthy Caribbean Coalition

December 14th, 2019


How Much Sugar is in Your Beverage? Sweet Beverages in the Caribbean

How Much Sugar is in Your Beverage? Sweet Beverages in the Caribbean
Yesterday, Friday December 13th 2019, the Healthy Caribbean Coalition CSO Regional Action Team for Childhood Obesity Prevention are releasing the 2019 Sweet Beverages in the Caribbean Infographic Series: How much sugar is in your beverage? This infographic series is an update of the 2016 HCC Sugar In The Caribbean Infographic Series which showed the sugar content of some sweet beverages available locally.  

The consumption of sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) is one of the major contributors to the obesity epidemic among adults and children. In the Caribbean on average data shows that 1 in 3 children is overweight or obese. The sugar content of one serving of many popular carbonated beverages and juices far exceeds the entire daily healthy maximum sugar intake for adults and children as recommended by the WHO and the American Heart Association (AHA).

This infographic series is intended to be an educational, awareness raising tool which provides a snapshot of the sugar content of some of the drinks available in eight Caribbean islands: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago. HCC congratulates the members of the CSO Regional Action Team  for the development of these advocacy tools. National supporters include the Ministry of Health and Wellness in Barbados, Barbados Moves, the Barbados National NCD Commission, Saint Kitts and Nevis Moves and Trinidad and Tobago Moves. The work of the HCC would not be possible without the support of Sagicor Life Inc. 

Check out the country graphics below and share on social media using the hashtags: #RethinkYourDrinkCaribbean #DrinkMoreWater
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda
The Bahamas
The Bahamas
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago


HCC Our Views, Our Voices Training Workshop

Our Views, Our Voices Barbados Training
Our Views, Our Voices Barbados Training, George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre
Our Views, Our Voices is an initiative of the NCD Alliance and people living with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that seeks to meaningfully involve people living with NCDs in the NCD response and enable individuals to share their views to take action and drive change.

The Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) hosted the first of two Caribbean based Our Views, Our Voices peer training workshops on November 28th – 29th, 2019 at the George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre in Barbados. The training was led by Caribbean based Our Views, Our Voices Peer Trainers Diana Gittens and Jenna Thompson - Healthy Caribbean Coalition Advocacy Officer.
Diana Gittens and Jenna Thompson
Our Views, Our Voices Peer Trainers Diana Gittens (Left) and Jenna Thompson (Right)
closing out Day 2 of training (Photo: S.Cadogan)
Fourteen (14) persons, who live with an NCD or are caregivers to persons living with an NCD, were equipped with skills to become effective spokespersons, able to share their lived experiences to build a powerful narrative on NCDs and amplify the advocacy agenda of people living with NCDs through meaningful involvement in health initiatives and policy development.  The HCC is excited to see our freshly trained, inspirational and energetic NCD advocates lend their voices to the fight against NCDs!
Diana Gittens leading advocates through a workshop activity
Diana Gittens leading advocates through a workshop activity
“This is an excellent initiative and offering from the NCD Alliance, partnering with our local Alliances. It is a wonderful opportunity to find ways to bring real stories, real lives and real hope to People Living with NCDs and to share advocacy tools so that Our Voices are heard by policy leaders around the region.”

Tara Lisa Persaud, HCC Our Views Our Voices Technical Advisor
The second Caribbean based training will be held in January 2020 in Trinidad, led by Our Views, Our Voices peer trainer Asha Samaroo with the support of the Trinidad & Tobago NCD Alliance.

See more photos from the training workshop here.

Find out more information on the Healthy Caribbean Coalition Our Views, Our Voices Training Programme here.

This work is supported by the NCD Alliance as part of its partnership with Access Accelerated to support work related to the Our Views, Our Voices initiative, find out more about the NCD Alliance Programme here

Lancet Countdown 2019 Caribbean Launch Event

Lancet Countdown 2019 Caribbean Launch Event
09:00-12:00, December 19th 2019, Radisson Aquatica Hotel , Barbados

Climate change and NCDs are two defining challenges of the 21st century. Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as those found in the Caribbean, are on the frontlines of climate chnage suffering disproportionately major impacts. Climate change is undermining the foundations of good health; threatening the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the hospitals and clinics we depend on. However, the response to climate change could offer the greatest global health opportunity. Co-organised by the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) and the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change, in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Caribbean  Community  Climate  Change Centre (CCCCC), this event will highlight key findings from the 2019 report of the Lancet Countdown, share HCC’s advocacy plans to build awareness, and catalyse discussion on how to build on the response to climate change, NCDs and other health priorities in the Caribbean. Due to limited space, this event is invitation only.

To request an invitation, please email or
Read more

Whatcha Cookin’ - Colourful! Educational! Inspiring!

Bahamas Ministry of Health: The Bahamas’ Minister of Health, the Honourable Dr. Duane E. Sands, has taken intentional aim at the health and wellness challenges of his country, being a vocal champion for promoting healthier lifestyle choices and encouraging Bahamians to think differently about the foods they eat and the beverages they drink. In a bold and innovative move, his Ministry launched Whatcha Cookin’ - a 10 episode television series.
Whatcha Cookin’
At its heart Whatcha Cookin’, through its captivating themes, seeks to dispense with just talk and to show viewers how eating healthy can be sinfully delicious, nutritiously diverse and budget friendly.

It shares practical tips to avoid the common pitfalls of spending inordinate amounts of time chopping, peeling, stirring, sweating and the like.

The show appreciates that people are busy. But that in their busyness, in their daily grind, health need not be sacrificed.
Through the demonstration of cooking techniques, the show skillfully whisks in content that improves the nutritional literacy of its viewers - allowing us to marinate on topics like how to read nutrition labels, knowing the right portion sizes, and the effects of sugar, to name a few. It is this kind of empowerment that has the potential to translate into long term, sustained behavior change rippling across the generational divide. The show goes a step further by dispelling deeply rooted myths in the Bahamian, and we dear say, Caribbean culinary culture.
In the post-Season period, Dr. Sands’ Ministry convened focus groups to determine the show’s effectiveness and reach. Ninety-two percent (92%) of participants strongly agreed that after watching the show they were more mindful of making healthy food choices; and 90% agreed that they were encouraged to experiment with new, more healthier recipes. No doubt the show is positioned to be a game changer in the way its viewers - Bahamians, and the wider global community, think about the production, purchase, preparation and pleasure of food.
Cognizant of the show’s impact, the Ministry of Health, has given the green light for Season 2 to air in the first quarter of 2020. If you missed Season 1, all episodes can be viewed on the Ministry of Health Facebook page. You can also hear the winning theme song for the show, composed, produced and performed by local high school seniors from Queen’s College.

As Impact of Climate Crisis Worsens, Caribbean Islands See Six-Fold Increase in Number of Children Displaced by Storms, New UNICEF Report Shows

As Impact of Climate Crisis Worsens, Caribbean Islands
Photo: UNICEF/UN0120828/English
UNICEF: The estimated number of children displaced by storms and flooding in the Caribbean islands* saw a six-fold increase in the past five years, a new UNICEF report said today.

Part of UNICEF’s Child Alert series, ‘Children Uprooted in the Caribbean: How stronger hurricanes linked to a changing climate are driving child displacement’ found that an estimated 761,000 children were internally displaced by storms in the Caribbean between 2014 and 2018 – the hottest five-year period on record. This is an increase of nearly 600,000, compared to the 175,000 children displaced in the preceding five-year period from 2009 to 2013.
Read more

Breathalyser Test Regulation Finally Approved in Grenada

Photo: Now Grenada
Now Grenada: The regulation that will autonomise the Traffic Department of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) to enforce the mandatory breathalyser test did not materialise for the carnival season as was anticipated.

On Monday, the cabinet finally approved the regulation that will require drivers suspected of drunk driving to take a breathalyser test once pulled over by police.

In 2017 both Houses of Parliament amended the Road Traffic Regulation to clamp down on driving while using mobile handheld devices, which came into effect on 1 February 2018. It also provides for drivers who are suspected to be under the influence of mind-altering substances, to take a mandatory breathalyser test.
Read more
The HCC congratulates the Government of Grenada for the introduction of this important regulation and we also urge the adoption of related alcohol policies promoted by the WHO SAFER Technical Package and the WHO Best Buys.

Healthy Caribbean Coalition Calls for Radical Measures to Tackle Childhood Obesity

Healthy Caribbean Coalition Calls for Radical Measures to Tackle Childhood Obesity
Attorney-at-Law and Policy Advisor for Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC), Nicole Foster, addresses a recent JIS Think Tank on Front-of-Package Labelling
(Photo: Mark Bell)
The Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) is calling for radical changes over the next decade to address childhood obesity in Jamaica and the wider region. HCC Policy Advisor, Nicole Foster, said that 25.1 per cent of Jamaican children between the ages of five and nine and 19.9 per cent of children, ages 10 to 19, will be obese by the year 2030, if drastic measures are not taken.

She was citing statistics from the first Global Atlas on Childhood Obesity, published by the World Obesity Federation in October 2019, during a recent JIS Think Tank.

She noted further that information from the Caribbean Public Health Authority (CARPHA) indicates that the region “has an overweight and obesity prevalence that is widespread across both males and females and of great concern is the fact that the region has a serious and growing problem of childhood obesity.”
Read more
Related Media:

WHO Gets New Advice on Curbing Deadly Noncommunicable Diseases

WHO Gets New Advice on Curbing Deadly Noncommunicable Diseases
World leaders and health experts, today, handed 8 recommendations to WHO’s Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, that could save millions of lives and promote mental health. The WHO Independent High-level Commission on noncommunicable diseases was convened by Dr Tedros in October 2017 to identify innovative ways to curb the world’s leading causes of death: cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes, respiratory diseases and mental health conditions.

The Commission highlighted that noncommunicable diseases still account for more than 70% of deaths and stressed that, “progress against NCDs and mental health conditions must be greatly accelerated if the 2030 Agenda is to succeed.” It also noted that many countries face challenges and need more support to implement solutions.
Read more

Grenada Praised for Sugar Ban in Schools

Grenada Praised for Sugar Ban in Schools
Photo: Loop News website
Loop News: The Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) has congratulated Grenada for its recent ban on sugar products in educating facilities.  

At a Post-Cabinet news conference, Grenada's Health Minister Nickolas Steele said while at an older age some habits are difficult to change, it is easier to get the young ones to adapt to certain tastes and practices that could result in healthier lifestyles.  
Read more
Read the HCC Open Letter to the Honourable Emmalin Pierre, Minister of Education of Grenada and the Honourable Nikolas Steele, Minister of Health, Social Security and International Business of Grenada here.

WHO Health and Climate Change Survey Report: Tracking Global Progress

WHO Health and Climate Change Survey Report: Tracking Global Progress
Photo: ADB
The recently published WHO Health and Climate Change Survey Report: Tracking Global Progress included data from the following CARICOM countries Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago and also Caribbean islands of Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

WHO: Safeguarding human health from climate change impacts is more urgent than ever, yet most countries are not acting fully on their own plans to achieve this, according to the first global snapshot of progress on climate change and health. The new report draws on data from 101 countries surveyed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and reported in the 2018 WHO Health and Climate Change Survey Report.
WHO Health and Climate Change Survey Report: Tracking Global Progress
Countries are increasingly prioritising climate change and health, with half of the countries surveyed having developed a national health and climate change strategy or plan. Worryingly, only about 38% have finances in place to even partially implement their national strategy of plan, and fewer than 10% channelling resources to implement it completely.

“Climate change is not only racking up a bill for future generations to pay, it’s a price that people are paying for now with their health,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. Read more
Download/Read the Report

Special Issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health: "Nutritional, Dietary, and Cancer Prevention Issues among African Americans"

Prof. Dr. Adelia Bovell-Benjamin is organizing a Special Issue on Nutritional, Dietary and Cancer Prevention Issues among African Americans in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The venue is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health. For detailed information on the journal, we refer you to

Research and systematic reviews regarding Black populations and cancer from regional, national and international (developing and developed countries) can offer insights and possible solutions to the nutritional, dietary and cancer prevention issues among African Americans/Blacks across the Diaspora.

This Special Issue is open to any subject area related to the impacts of nutritional, dietary patterns and cancer prevention issues among African American/Black populations.

Manuscript Submission Information: cripts should be submitted online at by by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form.
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World Cancer Research Fund International: NOURISHING Database Update

World Cancer Research Fund International
Photo: World Cancer Research Fund International
World Cancer Research Fund International: NOURISHING is a database of implemented policies from all over the world that promote healthy diets to reduce overweight and obesity. 

The latest updates are from the UK, Peru, Malaysia, Seychelles, Netherlands, Slovenia and the US! They include marketing and sales regulations, bans on public transport advertising and excise taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages
Read more

Low-Dose Aspirin May Not Reduce Heart Risks for Black Americans, Study Finds

Low-Dose Aspirin May Not Reduce Heart Risks for Black Americans, Study Finds
Photo: Getty Images - © 2018 Sunyixun
TIME: It’s fairly established medical science that people who have had heart attacks can take regular low doses of aspirin to significantly lower their risk of having another heart attack, or other heart problems including stroke. But it is still an open question whether or not people who haven’t had a heart event, but are at higher risk of one (because, for example) they have diabetes, high blood pressure, or elevated cholesterol levels), can also benefit from the over-the-counter painkiller and anti-inflammatory drug.

A new study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, adds to that debate by addressing a gap in the research on the subject: whether race or ethnicity makes a difference in how aspirin affects their risk of heart disease.
Read more
Related Media:

Webinar: Commercial Determinants of Health: Definitions and Risks

Monday, December 16, 2019
Webinar: Commercial Determinants of Health: Definitions and Risks

Jamaica Stride Guide Holiday Edition

Jamaica Stride Guide Holiday Edition
It's been an eventful November for the STRiDE Jamaica Research Team. Not only is research data collection in full swing but we've had numerous outreach opportunities and activities since the last edition of STRiDE Guide.
  • a recap of the 2019 Caribbean Regional Meeting in Kingston, Jamaica
  • details on the first ever STRiDE Orientation Workshop
  • what you need to know about dementia diagnosis
  • tips on supporting loved one's with dementia during the holiday season
  • pics from our past engagements
Read more

HCC Technical Brief and Eight Advocacy Priorities

HCC Technical Brief:
HCC Technical Brief: First United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage: Technical Brief for CARICOM Countries - A Contribution from Civil Society.
Read download
HCC Advocacy Priorities
HCC Advocacy Priorities for the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage.

HCC Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies

Childhood Obesity Prevention policies
Childhood Obesity Prevention policies
We have created social media graphics to campaign for the implementation of our Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies. The graphics can be downloaded here.
Childhood Obesity Prevention Scorecard
NCD Alliance


In this edition:
  • A “whole of society” approach to NCDs must include civil society organisations
  • UHC Day: Now it's time to keep the promise and put people first
  • Prioritising action on alcohol for health and development
  • Phase II of WHO CS Working Group on NCDs launched
  • 2nd WHO Independent HLC on NCDs report released
Read more

Please Help to Monitor the Health of Caribbean Schools

My Healthy Caribbean School (MHCS) is an initiative of the HCC which provides students, teachers and parents with the opportunity to monitor the school environment with a focus on nutrition and physical activity.
Find out more

Key Messages From Our Publications

NCDs - Context and Situation Summary

Taken from: First United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage: Technical Brief for CARICOM Countries – A Contribution from Civil Society
NCDs - Context and Situation Summary
Read more
Our Publications
CARD 2019: Women and Alcohol
CARD 2019: Women and Alcohol
A set of infographics
Read more
Call to Urgent Action
Call to Urgent Action - Infographics and Social Media Visuals
Read more
See All HCC Publications
Forthcoming Events

February 2020

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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 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.
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