Obesity in the Caribbean: A Case for Public Policies
Fitzroy J Henry*
College of Health Sciences, University of Technology, Jamaica
- *Corresponding Author:
- Fitzroy J Henry
College of Health Sciences, University of Technology
235-237 Old Hope Road Kingston, Jamaica
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: 23 June, 2016; Accepted date: 28 July, 2016; Published date: 04 August, 2016
Citation: Henry FJ (2016) Obesity in the Caribbean: A Case for Public Policies. J Nutr Disorders Ther 6:194. doi: 10.4172/2161-0509.1000194
Copyright: ©2016 Henry FJ. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use,distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The silent escalating epidemic of obesity is the underlying cause of most deaths in the Caribbean. If action is not taken to curb our increasingly overweight populations the resultant burden of chronic diseases will overwhelm our health systems and ultimately retard our overall health and economic development. To effectively combat obesity, the driving forces as well as the obstacles need to be clearly identified and acted upon. This paper argues that substantial reductions in the prevalence of obesity are more likely to come from structural and policy related changes to the environment than from medical interventions targeted at the individual. The complexity of the obesity problem in the Caribbean is elaborated in five dimensions and for each one the case is made for strong public policy measures which can create the conducive environment necessary for individual behaviour change regarding healthy eating and increased physical activity. The paper presents policy options that could substantially reduce obesity in Caribbean countries individually, or collectively.