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Obesity Prevention: The Key to Non-communicable Disease Control

Journal Authors: 
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the main public health problem in the Caribbean and they place a severe economic burden on the health systems in the region. This paper contends that preventing obesity is a critical factor in controlling NCDs. The paper further argues that obesity prevention is more likely to come from structural and policy-related changes to the environment than from medical interventions targeted at the individual. Rolling back the rapid increase in obesity in the Caribbean requires much more than the traditional passive approach that relied almost entirely on education for individual behavioural change. The traditional models of obesity control have generally failed globally and a new public policy approach needs to be instituted to attack this epidemic in a multisectoral way. Effective control of obesity will require a shift away from the traditional focus on clinical management and individual behaviour change towards strategies which deal with the environment in which such behaviours occur. Outlined in this paper are key policy changes required by the various sectors whose inputs are vital to the success of prevention efforts.
e-Published: 03 Feb, 2014
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