NEW YORK, United States, September 28, 2018 — Heads of government from four Caribbean countries gathered for a high-level meeting in New York City this week to discuss how public health policies can tackle the growing burden of overweight and obesity in the region.
Across the Caribbean, 40 to 70 percent of adults and nearly 30 percent of children are overweight or obese.
Moreover, diabetes is one of the region’s most pressing public health problems. Nearly 11.9 percent of the population has diabetes, well above the global rate of 8.5 percent. Caribbean adults consume an estimated two servings of sugary beverages per day, the highest of any region.
Speaking at the meeting on Wednesday, Michael R. Bloomberg, WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Bloomberg Philanthropies Founder, said: “The good news is that we know how to reduce obesity, through policies like taxes on sugary drinks, better labeling on unhealthy food, and healthier school meals. And we’re beginning to make progress.”
Among the Caribbean leaders present were Prime Ministers of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne; St Lucia, Allen Chastanet; Jamaica, Andrew Holness; and Barbados, Mia Mottley.