Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Health, Miscellaneous, People & Places » Health Statistics Indicate that Belize District Residents are Severely Overweight
Jan 5, 2016

Health Statistics Indicate that Belize District Residents are Severely Overweight

The health of the Belize District population is at risk. Indicators show that far too many residents are severely over-weight and that in the younger population, more newborns died last year than they did in the same period in 2014.  That is the information compiled in a biannual health bulletin released by the Central Health Region for the Belize District. The data, which was pooled from the Belize Health Infrastructure System, is only from the public health sector and does not include private health facilities. And while it only encompasses health issues from the Belize District and the cayes, it represents the major population center.


Duane Moody, Reporting

In late December 2015, the Central Health Region of the Ministry of Health released a report to its stakeholders and partner agencies on information collected from the epidemiological unit on some of the major health issues in the Belize District. The report is only for the first ten months of 2015 but the partial data shows that infant mortality was up by sixty-one percent from sixteen to twenty-nine deaths due to severe prematurity and congenital malformations.


Javier Zuniga

Dr. Javier Zuniga, Regional Manager, Central Health Region

“The infant mortality is basically showing that the infant mortality rate has increased in the first ten months of the year which means that in the year 2014, in October we had sixteen infant deaths and it increased to twenty-nine infant deaths. And when this occurs, it represents a public health issue for us because the trend is instead of increasing, we would like rates to decrease. So when this occurs, it is an alarm to say that something may be wrong either in the community or at health facilities and we are more concerned with primary health care so basically it is what is occurring at the primary health care level that we can do to curve this rate.”


Duane Moody

“Sir did the statistic show the causes of the mortality?”


Dr. Javier Zuniga

“Yes, there are two major causes that I would like to expound on. One; severe prematurity and two, congenital malformations and we saw that the highest numbers were between these two categories. If I am not mistaken it was like fourteen or six—so it was like twenty out of the twenty-nine.”


But according to Central Health Regional Manager Doctor Javier Zuniga, these are two of the more preventable causes of infant death. Through its research committee, the central health region also analyzed data in reference to obesity. And the results were shocking because obesity is considered the mother of health risk factors.


Dr. Javier Zuniga

“If we would pass on the road side or street side, out of ten people we would see six or seven persons who are either overweight or obese. This also is what we call, obesity is the mother of health risk factors and it forms a part of what we call the deadly quartet: hyper-lipidemia which is high fats in the blood, diabetes and hypertension. These four risk factors lead then to complications or what we call a metabolic syndrome that then leads to the other non-communicable diseases.

In the case of obesity, I could say that females are more obese that males. Approximately sixty-four percent of the population that we targeted, so six out of ten are either obese or overweight. Overweight and obesity type one are the two highest…well they take up most of the statistics.”


Doctor Zuniga says the objective is to identify problems and to implement interventions that are cost effective to lower the rates of communicable and non-communicable diseases.


Dr. Javier Zuniga

“The idea is to identify the problem, two make a plan for interventions and then implement that in the community and then do an evaluation after a couple years to see if he intervention as effective. That’s the plan that we have but first we have to start from the ground work and work our way to curve that prevalence as well.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

1 Response for “Health Statistics Indicate that Belize District Residents are Severely Overweight”

  1. joe says:

    I remember several years ago when I visited home, I was shocked to see many of my family and friends extremely overweight. When I asked why they let themselves go, I was hit with the most absurd answer. I was told that if you were skinny, society would say that you have “bust toe”. I was at a lost because I had no clue as to what “bust toe” meant. Come to find out, it means that they would think, and spread rumors too, that a person who is skinny has HIV/AIDS. I was appalled by this. I have been working with the HIV/AIDS population for several years and know full well that fat or skinny, you cannot look at an individual and tell if they are positive. I also know, too, the negative effects of being overweight. I really pray that my Belizeans would learn to move away from the stinking thinking and move towards educating themselves, which can then lead to improvement physically, mentally and spiritually. God bless!

You must be logged in to post a comment Login