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Let’s stamp out scourge of child obesity


SIR HENRY FRASER

Let’s stamp out scourge of child obesity

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THE WORLDWIDE epidemic of obesity – even in the face of continuing and increasing malnutrition in many poor countries – shows no evidence of abating, and appears to be increasing here in the Caribbean. At particular risk are our children. This year’s World Obesity Day, marked last Tuesday, was dedicated to the urgent crisis of childhood obesity. 

The World Obesity Federation’s website states: “Child and adolescent obesity has risen rapidly around the world, with few countries taking action against this damaging health issue which affects later health, educational attainment and quality of life”. And it goes on: “This World Obesity Day we are calling for all governments to meet their commitments to end childhood obesity by 2025.”

In a powerful speech to the Barbados Workers’ Union on September 30, Professor Sir Trevor Hassell spoke on the subject. He focused on the epidemic of overweight/obesity among our children, the reasons for it, the serious consequences of the epidemic and actions we need to take to slow and possibly even reverse the epidemic. And he called for urgent and serious discourse and action. 

In the WHO Global School Health Survey of 26 schools carried out in Barbados in 2012, the prevalence of overweight was 31.5 per cent and obesity 14.4 per cent, similar to the earlier findings of Dr Pamela Gaskin at the Chronic Disease Research Centre, of the University of the West Indies (UWI). 

 

Please read the full story in today’s Daily Nation, or in the eNATION edition.

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