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Healthy Caribbean Coalition
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November 14 - November 20

Healthy Caribbean Weekly News Roundup
Healthy Caribbean Coalition

Should there be a soft drinks tax to help combat obesity?


Bermuda Leading the way with Healthy Schools

Fruit time at recess breakBermuda schools are regional and global leaders in creating healthy nutritional environments for their students. Dr. Virloy Lewin, Health Promotion Coordinator and Mrs. Marie Beach Johnson, Healthy Schools Coordinator in the Bermuda Department of Health shared elements of the progressive Healthy Schools Nutrition Policy implemented in 1997. Some of the highlights of the Policy include: the 'Vending Machine Policy', which stipulates that school vending machines may only contain plain, unsweetened water and/or 100% juice (no sodas and snacks and to date 100% of Bermuda schools are compliant with this policy); Healthy Schools & Nutrition Services rating scale for compliance with the Healthy Schools Nutrition Policy; and the Policy stipulates the consumption of fruits and vegetables during the school day in school lunches brought from home.

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News Roundup

Obesity is one of the top three social burdens generated by human beings

Obesity is one of the top three social burdens generated by human beings

Obesity is a critical global issue that requires a comprehensive, international intervention strategy. More than 2.1 billion people - nearly 30 percent of the global population - are overweight or obese. That’s almost two and a half times the number of adults and children who are undernourished. Obesity is responsible for about 5 percent of all deaths a year worldwide, and its global economic impact amounts to roughly $2 trillion annually, or 2.8 percent of global GDP - nearly equivalent to the global impact of smoking or of armed violence, war, and terrorism. Read more

The ICN2 Meeting in Rome wrapped up on Nov 21st

ICN2 Meeting in Rome

The ICN2 MeetingThe Rome Declaration on Nutrition and the Framework for Action on Nutrition were adopted by Ministers from 193 countries. HCC Director Prof Rainford Wilks participated in the meeting representing the Caribbean (only CSO and no member states from the region according to FAO lists).

Visit the NCD Alliance website for more on the meeting outcomes here.

Photos from the CSO Forum here.

ICN2 Meeting in Rome 2014

Open letter to Margaret Chan and José Graziano da Silva, around the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) - Consumers International and the World Obesity Federation have prepared an open letter to Margaret Chan and José Graziano da Silva, around the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), in order to seek support from member states for the development of a global convention to protect and promote healthy diets. The HCC is a signatory to the letter which calls on Member States to support the development of a binding treaty to ensure healthy, equitable and sustainable food systems. See the letter here and the Global Convention to Protect and Promote Healthy Diets here.

2014 World Cancer Congress e-Newsletter November 2014

2014 World Cancer Congress e-Newsletter November 2014

The 2014 World Cancer Congress is only 2 weeks away! Read on to help plan your week and ensure you don’t miss out on anything. Read more

Local manufacturing company takes the lead

Local manufacturing company takes the leadMrs Gina Pitts CEO of the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados - The Foundation is often requested to provide endorsement to food manufactures in the hope that the endorsement will been seen by specific target groups and increase sales. However endorsing a product is at times challenging as there are many components to the endorsement including, content, labeling, serving size and quality assurance in manufacturing. The Foundation was recently asked by a local milk manufacturer to endorse their line of dairy products. Although the products met most of the criteria, there was a element missing in the labeling. The head of the unit listened to our recommendations and I am pleased to say that they changed their labeling to include the first edition of the traffic light labeling style, highlighting the content in one serving size, in an easy to read set of white bubbles, all of this within 2 weeks of our meeting. They are to be congratulated on listing to an advocate of the consumer and although these are small steps they all add to creating a more informed public.

Digicel pays for mammogramsDigicel pays for mammograms - Thirty persons at the Jamaica Cancer Society had their mammograms paid for courtesy of telecommunications leader Digicel. The handover took place at the Jamaica Cancer Society's headquarters at Lady Musgrave Road on Friday, October 24, as part of Digicel's support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Head of government sales at Digicel Business, Michelle Watkis-Robinson, who is also a survivor of breast cancer, was extremely pleased to be able to make the donation on behalf of Digicel. Read more

Cancer Support Services PSA Testing

Cancer Support Services PSA TestingThe response to the PSA testing staged on Saturday November 15th was overwhelming with 77 men being tested. We commend the response of the young men who participated and we salute the support offered by Nigel Jones, a 2nd time participant in the testing programme and a supporter of Cancer Support Services. Nigel noted that through reading information about the need to have regular tests and recognizing the increase in cases, he has made a personal commitment to have his test done compliments Cancer Support Services. Visit the CSS website here.

UNESCO Supports Initiative to “End Cervical Cancer Now”

UNESCO Supports Initiative to “End Cervical Cancer Now” The Belize Cancer Society (BCS) received a grant from UNESCO to continue the “End Cervical Cancer Now,” an initiative that was introduced by the Healthy Caribbean Coalition over the past year. The President of the National Commission for UNESCO, Honorable Patrick Faber (Minister of Education) and the Secretary General, Reverend Rudolph Anthony delivered a check to the President of the BCS for US. $24,803.00. The Grant will enable the Belize Cancer Society to target rural and underserved communities countrywide for cervical cancer prevention and control activities.

Through carefully crafted information, education and communication strategies, the Project will expand their wellness ambassador’s training, reprint posters and create bookmarks on cervical cancer and the human papilloma virus. Additionally a multi-language documentary of women who have been diagnosed and are currently receiving treatment or have survived Cervical Cancer will be developed and aired at designated peak times on radio and television stations. Importantly, PAP tests for 1200 women will be conducted to include syndromic management of infections and referrals for treatment as needed. Finally, public lectures in key locations in six districts will be held to highlight the problem of cervical cancer and the way forward to “end cervical cancer now.” The Belize Cancer Society extends sincere appreciation to UNESCO for endorsing their efforts to continue activities related to cervical cancer prevention and control activities. The Project gets underway in January 2015 with an expected completion date of June 30, 2015.

Safeguarding Our Future DevelopmentSafeguarding Our Future Development - Plan of Action for Promoting Healthy Weights in the Caribbean: Prevention and Control of Childhood Obesity

The Caribbean is in the midst of a childhood obesity epidemic. At least 1 in every 5 of our children are carrying unhealthy weights and are at risk of developing non-communicable diseases later in life.

Although our region is not facing a unique public health challenge, it has the unenviable distinction of having rates of prevalence that are close to or above the global average. Read more

Please note that December 1, 2014 is the new deadline

How Soda Destroys Your Body (INFOGRAPHIC)How Soda Destroys Your Body (INFOGRAPHIC)

It seems like not a month goes by without a new study condemning sugary, bubbly sodas, but seeing all the data in one place does not paint a pretty picture. Check out how soda wreaks havoc all over your body.

Brain Damage, Tooth Sensitivity, Accelerated Aging, Skin Rashes, Metabolic Syndrome, Breast Cancer, Fatty Blood, Diet-Soda Belly, High Blood Pressure, Kidney Stones.

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3 ways the public sector can work with business to fight chronic diseases

More than three out of every five people who die today will do so because of a chronic, non-communicable disease such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer or lung disease. Now, consider that NCDs - which also can include trauma, stroke and mental illnesses — account for more than 75 percent of global health care spending and cause hundreds of billions of dollars in productivity losses. The human and economic costs are staggering. Very clearly, NCDs are a global challenge to health, but are also an impediment to sustainable human development and security overall. Read more

We succeeded in raising much-needed awarenessWe succeeded in raising much-needed awareness about the lack of access to insulin, diabetes supplies, care and education for people with diabetes worldwide. Read more

Human papillomavirus vaccinesHuman papillomavirus vaccines: WHO position paper, October 2014

In accordance with its mandate to provide guidance to Member States on health policy matters, WHO issues a series of regularly updated position papers on vaccines and vaccine combinations against diseases that have an international public health impact. These papers are concerned primarily with the use of vaccines in largescale immunization programmes. Read more

The risk factor – new evidence on obesity and prostate cancer

Its most significant finding is that men who are overweight or obese are at greater risk of ultimately developing an aggressive form of prostate cancer. It also found that fully grown adults’ height ‘probably’ affects risk, but because this is determined by early life and genes, men can’t do much about it (although it does give clues for more research into how the disease develops). Several other things were actually downgraded in terms of the strength of their evidence. Read more

NCD Alliance E-Alert, news from the NCD Alliance

Nestlé to reduce salt, sugar, saturated fat content by 10% in products - NCDs, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases, are the leading causes of death in virtually all countries across the globe and Nestle is playing an active role to improve health by addressing these prevalent issues with a number of commitments on nutrition. Nestlé has therefore pledged to reduce salt, sugars, and saturated fats and remove trans fats originating from partially hydrogenated oils in its products. In Central and West Africa, Nestlé achieved a 2.69% reduction of salt in its culinary products in 2013, compared to the year before, while fortifying the Maggi tablets in iron. Read more

From the NCD Alliance Weekly Digest

NCDs In the News

Risk Factor News

NCD Articles on WebMD

  • Cancers That Spread to the Bone - Any type of cancer can raise the risk for bone metastasis. Certain types, including breast, lung and prostate cancer, are more likely to spread to bone. Read more
  • Eating Enough Whole Grains? - They can help you stay thin, boost energy, and even strengthen the immune system. Add more to your diet with these tips. Read more
  • How Diabetes Affects Your Dental Health - Diabetes raises your risk of dental problems. How to protect your mouth and help manage your blood sugar. Read more
  • Type 2 Diabetes Myths and Facts - Can type 2 diabetes really be life-threatening? Once you have it, can you ever get rid of it? What’s so bad about high blood sugar, anyway? Get answers. Read more

HCC News Roundup Archive - If you have missed any of our News Roundups you can view previous Roundups on our News Roundup Archive webpage here.

HCC Featured - Previously featured Members, events and news can now be found on our HCC Featured webpage here.

Healthy Caribbean Coalition
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Healthy Caribbean Coalition

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 50 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 hcc@healthycaribbean.org.

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HCC Secretariat, Caribbean Catalyst Inc., River Road, St. Michael, Barbados, BB11155

The work of HCC would not be possible without core funding from Sagicor Life Inc

Sagicor Life Inc.