The need to address a growing epidemic of childhood obesity in the Caribbean brought together a range of top regional experts, leaders and officials in Barbados recently with the aim of thrashing out a road map to respond to this epidemic and make a difference to our children’s health.
Hosted by the Caribbean Public Health Agency, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization and the Caribbean Community, the meeting took place on February 9-10. Key regional organisations and partners carved out roles and responsibilities under the ambitious, four-year roadmap to prevent childhood obesity.
This is a critical health and development issue for our region. More than 30% of Caribbean adolescents are overweight or obese and at risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and hypertension in later life. In fact, 2,500 children in Barbados are already suffering from high blood pressure due to obesity. Obese and overweight children are likely to stay that way into adulthood, storing up problems for themselves and their societies in the future.