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Oct 27, 2017

Trim the Fat! M.O.H. Tackles Obesity in Belize

The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with PAHO, is taking on obesity in Belize. Globally, obesity is an epidemic and locally while the data is not updated, the Ministry says that it is a critical issue.   Today ministry officials and representatives from a wide cross-section of agencies and partners of civil society and private sector gathered to discuss obesity and weigh in on how to tackle obesity.

 

Jorge Polanco

Dr. Jorge Polanco, Coordinator, Institute of Nutrition for Central America-Panama

“It is of much priority, much importance. It is a topic that has been at the desk of the Ministry of Health for the recent years as a part of the strategic plan to address non-communicable diseases.  But basically what we are doing today is that we are zooming in to overweight and obesity very specifically. Multiple reasons, one there has been a growing trend in the region including Belize in regards to obesity and we know very clearly  there is sufficient scientific evidence that obesity is directly linked to other multiple chronic diseases; example, diabetes, cancer, complications of diabetes like chronic kidney failure which is of great importance in the country. So what we did the people you see there are national actors they represent different areas of the government of Belize, we have civil society and the private sector.”

 

Francis Morey

Dr. Francis Morey, Deputy D.H.S., Ministry of Health

“Obesity in our country – we basically currently only have data that goes back to a survey that shows that  basically we had levels of obesity and overweight of more than forty-eight percent which is approximately ten years ago. So, about half of our population back then suffered from this condition. The purpose of this strategic plan is to also update that EPI profile on which the Ministry of Health and the other stakeholders will be collaborating to update that scenario and for us to say it has been seven to ten years and the number of individuals who suffer from obesity or overweight is and what’s the true profile.”

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