Barbados health ministry considering banning sugary drinks

The Ministry of Health in Barbados wants to stem a rise in childhood obesity by banning the sale of sugary drinks in schools.

Health Minister John Boyce, made the suggesting while addressing the Caribbean Subregional Workshop on Alcohol, Tobacco and Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Taxation at the Accra Beach Hotel.

“The WHO (World Health Organization) Global School Health Survey (GSHS) 2012 in Barbados indicated the prevalence of overweight and obesity to be 31.5 per cent and 14.4 per cent respectively. Girls were at a slightly higher rate of overweight and obesity when compared to boys. The survey also indicated that levels of physical activity and exercise and consumption of healthy diets were consistently low,” Boyce said.

In light of the WHO survey Boyce said his Ministry is currently preparing a set of policy options to address the marketing of unhealthy foods to children while they are at school.

“Consideration would be given to a ban on the sale and/or promotion of sugar-sweetened beverages on the premises of schools. These measures are to be considered by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on NCDs and subsequently, the full Cabinet of Barbados,” he said.

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