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Risk: Childhood Obesity

This is of particular concern due to its impact on the development of risk factors and NCDs later in life

This is of particular concern due to its impact on the development of risk factors and NCDs later in life. Over the past two decades, TTO has seen the emergence of NCDs such as Type 2 diabetes among its youth. The results of the Survey of BMIs conducted by the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI) for the MOH in 2010, revealed that overweight and obesity in schoolchildren aged 5-18 years, increased from 11% in 1999, to 23% in 2009 representing an increase of 109 %. Over the same 10-year period, obesity in children increased some 400% from 2.4% to 12.5%.

This five (5)-fold increase in obesity in children over a 10-year period means that TTO has significant childhood obesity problem that must be arrested immediately, given that it can contribute to higher levels of adolescent and adult obesity. Research has shown that 24% of school-aged children (5-18 years) are overweight or obese and as high as 35% in St George East. Figure 8 details this.

Ultimately, this high level of overweight and obesity, beginning from childhood and continuing in adulthood, further contributes to the overall increased risk of NCDs in the population. This leads to increased limb amputations, heart attacks, kidney disease, and blindness, which are increasing health care costs, while at the same time reducing the productive capacity of those affected.