Caribbean

February 2016

The Caribbean Salt Smart Coalition has launched a project to help build capacity for dietary salt reduction in the Caribbean. The project is being rolled out in the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, St Vincent and Grenadines and Antigua and is aimed at building capacity of these countries to produce social marketing campaigns to encourage cooking with less salt and buying low salt products. The PAHO prepared slides on this topic – click here to view.

September 2015

The PAHO, in partnership with the Healthy Caribbean Coalition and the University of South Florida WHO Collaborating Center on Social Marketing and Social Change, have formed the Caribbean Salt Smart Coalition (CSSC). The CSSC currently consists of 4 country teams in Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Jamaica and St Vincent & the Grenadines.  For more information on the CSSC, please click here.

November 2015

The National Salt Study, a sub-study of the Barbados Health of the Nation Survey, found that in a nationally representative sample of 373 adults (25–64 years) the mean sodium intake was 2.7 g/d (equivalent to 6.75 g salt).  Intake was higher in men (2.9 g/d) than in women (2.5 g/d). This was 1.8 times greater than the recommended daily intake of 1.5 g/d of sodium for black populations and high risk groups. Seventy-nine percent of women and 89% of men consume more than 1.5g/d of sodium.

The top five individual food items contributing to sodium intake in the population were rice and peas (6.0%), baked chicken (5.6%), macaroni pie (4.3%), white rice (4.2%), and coconut bread (3.8%), which together contributed almost one-quarter of the total sodium intake. Most individuals (94.7%) reported that they were aware that a high salt diet was unhealthy, with 75% linking a high intake of salt to hypertension. However, two out of three individuals thought that they were consuming the right amount of salt or even too little, when in fact they were consuming too much.

To view the full study, click here.

February 2012

The Minster of Health in Barbados, in the first page of Barbados Advocate paper, calls for control in salt consumption as numbers spent on hypertensive drugs in Barbados are suffocating the health budget. 

For more information please click here 

The Agrofest, large Agricultural fair, held over 3 days in Barbados and attended by some 60,000 people in a country of 270,000 highlighted the salt reduction issue in the Caribbean. 

Bread, fish, rice, poultry, and sweets were the major food groups identified as contributing to a combined total of 50% of total sodium intake.

The Healthy Caribbean Coalition was the Patron of and gave support for Agrofest 2011, “Healthy Living through Agriculture”. 

Some of the activities focussing on salt reduction included:
 Workshop for Agrofest food vendors
 Discussion with bakery and food producer around product reformulation
 “Salt seminar” for food and drink producers and manufacturers

Healthy Caribbean coalition has prepared  a new salt jingle very ‘culturally specific’ for use on radio and at public events is released and distributed via facebook.

For more information about the Health Caribbean Coalition please click here 

April 2010

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados are presently developing a national nutrition improvement and population salt reduction. Its main components thus far are:

  • Assessment of population salt intake with determination of sources of salt intake. This is being conducted by the Chronic Disease Research Centre, University of the West Indies, on behalf of the Ministry of Health.
  • Sensitisation of opinion leaders about salt by publication and distribution, free of cost, of a "salt brochure."
  • Influencing local and regional standards institute to have appropriate labelling re salt, with strong position taken by Barbados at CODEX.
  • Workshop to be held shortly around salt reduction and nutrition improvement for food and beverage producers, distributors, manufacturers, restaurants, etc.
  • Consultation being planned for relevant stakeholders aimed at making salt the difficult choice in the school setting and improving nutrition on that environment.
  • Strong support for WHO/PAHO's efforts with recent endorsement of their Policy Statement: "Preventing CVD in the Americas by reducing dietary salt intake population wide".

Please see the Barbados Salt reduction brochure:

Battling the hidden enemy
Battling the hidden enemy [PDF 1.23 MB]

January 2010

Healthy Caribbean Coalition - Battling the hidden enemy

National Commission For Chronic Non Communicable Diseases

Each year, thousands of Barbadians are robbed of good health, and even life, by a handful of diseases that have become chronic – deeply embedded – in our society.

But these are not diseases passed through human contact, such as HIV/AIDS, influenza, or some other virus. They are Chronic Non Communicable Diseases (CNCDs), such as heart disease, stroke, some cancers, diabetes and respiratory disease.
In almost all cases, these CNCDs result from unhealthy eating, exposure to tobacco smoke, and inadequate physical activity. In essence, most cases are entirely preventable.

These behavioral risk factors – poor diet, inadequate physical activity and smoking – together with the risk conditions of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, lead to CNCDs that are now alarmingly prevalent in our population. The increasing deaths and prolonged disabilities rob us of colleagues, friends and relatives, and affect our productivity while the cost of treatment places huge burdens on our limited financial resources.