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Caribbean Public Health Agency aims to reduce child obesity by 2025

San Juan, (EFE).- The Caribbean Public Health Agency, or CARPHA, published a Plan of Action for Promoting Healthy Weights: 2014 – 2019, part of a push to reduce obesity among children and adolescents by 2025.

CARPHA has an integrated strategy to address nutrition-related diseases in Caribbean countries, where the proportion of overweight or obese people is in the range of 28 percent to 35 percent.

Consumption of sweetened beverages, limited intake of water and fresh fruit and vegetables and low levels of physical activity are significantly correlated with weight problems, the organization said.

CARPHA also reviewed member-states’ response to the “current obesity epidemic.”

Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Bermuda, Aruba and Montserrat all said they had “at least one obesity prevention policy either in draft or finalized.”

Ten other countries reported “implementation of a total of 19 obesity prevention projects during 2013.”

“These interventions were, however, largely focused on school-based initiatives with less attention being placed on the involvement of a wide cross-section of stakeholders,” CARPHA said.

CARPHA foresees member-states enacting “strong regulatory frameworks for reducing obesogenic environments” and “evidence-based policies to support production, access and consumption of safe, affordable, nutritious, high-quality food commodities.”

CARPHA member states are Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bermuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bonaire, Curaçao, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Martin, Saba, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos and the British Virgin Islands.