Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBridgetown, Barbados, 9th February 2017 – Childhood obesity continues to be a serious public health concern in the Region. Statistics show that more than 30% of our Caribbean adolescents are overweight or obese, and risk developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases later in life. The economic burden of diabetes and hypertension alone is estimated at between 1.4% and 8% of GDP in the Caribbean, thus creating a significant drain on Caribbean economies, and threatening development prospects.Recognizing the critical need for leadership and cross sectoral action to address this health issue, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and with funding from CDB hosted a meeting to develop a road map to prevent childhood obesity through improved food and nutrition security.The opening ceremony took place earlier this week at the Barbados Yacht Club, and was marked by the presence of the Barbados Minister of Health, The Honourable John D. E. Boyce and other high level officials from regional institutions.In his welcome remarks, Dr C. James Hospedales, CARPHA Executive Director said “The meeting will look at how we can together accelerate action on the ground, in countries, in the food environment and nutrition area, especially for the most vulnerable – our children. The meeting is historic as it gathers at least half of CARICOM Institutions to focus attention on a key development challenge through implementing a 6-point policy package for healthier less obesogenic food environments.” He went on to say fiscal and trade measures, mandatory nutritional labeling to empower consumers and elimination of trans fats from food supplies are among the areas that must be addressed, buttressed by region wide and sustained information and communication.President of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC), Professor Trevor Hassell, congratulated CARPHA in hosting the meeting and stated that “HCC strongly supports this initiative since the issue at hand, namely childhood obesity and overweight and consequential epidemic of NCDs, present a significant health and development challenge for the people of the Region requiring as it does a multi-sectoral, whole of society response. This requires active participation and engagement of the public sector, both health and non-health, civil society and the private sector working hand in hand and contributing in their respective areas of expertise and influence.”Ms Jessie Schutte Aine, PAHO Programme Coordinator for the Caribbean told the gathering there has been a dramatic rise in the number of children who are overweight or obese in the Region. She added that childhood obesity is a rapidly growing epidemic, putting children at risk of developing serious health problems including diabetes, heart disease and leading to premature death and disability later in life. She stated available data indicates that in one generation, the Caribbean has moved from problems of 2 malnutrition and underweight children to the other extreme. According to Ms Schutt Aine over the last 35 years, there has been a major shift in diet moving away from staple foods that are indigenous to the Region, towards foods that are highly processed.“NCDs has long been identified as one of the three super priorities for Caribbean Cooperation in Health (CCH)”, stated Dr Rudolph Cummings in his opening remarks. The Programme Manager for Health Sector Reform at CARICOM stressed the need for a more genuine effort at harnessing the intersectoral energies that are required to make a difference in our NCDs problem and congratulated CARPHA on hosting the meeting.Through a virtual presentation, CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General for Trade and Economic Integration, Mr. Joseph Cox, also underscored the need for the Region to take decisive action, and stated that the “timing of this action cannot be overstated and the opportunity to develop a road map is welcomed in order to deal with the issue.” Mr Cox explained that a “strategic alliance between the private sector, public sector and civil society is necessary to affect change and move in concert.”“As a Caribbean Region, we have faltered in our response to the epidemic in childhood obesity with many countries in the Region reporting prevalence rates in excess of 30% in the pre-teen and teenage population. Collectively, we are well positioned to drive this important element of the health agenda within CARICOM,” stated Honourable John D. E. Boyce, Minister of Health, Barbados in his feature address. Minister Boyce went on to say there is a need for greater enforcement of the policy of physical education in schools. He believes that more time should also be allotted for physical education sessions, even during the ‘exam’ term.In closing the Minister thanked CARPHA for its work in developing appropriate regimes to the childhood obesity epidemic, and its technical support to developing surveillance systems, health promotions strategies, and policies options for addressing childhood obesity.The Regional High Level Meeting to Develop a Road map on Multi-sectoral Action to Prevent Childhood Obesity through Improved Food and Nutrition Security takes place from 9th – 10th February 2017 at the CXC Headquarters. The focus of the meeting is to foster collaboration between regional economic and social sector institutions to support the implementation of a 6-point policy package developed by CARPHA as part of the Caribbean Cooperation in Health initiative (CCH-IV). #MagneticMediaNews #ChildhoodObesity Related Items:#ChildhoodObesity, #magneticmedianews
Related stories Hacking Military US Cyber Command powers up attacks against Russia’s electrical grid Facebook used in Iranian cyber-spying operation, US indictment says Iran-linked hackers reportedly targeted activists and US officials UN chief seeks international rules for cyberwarfare 3 Comments Last Saturday, The New York Times reported that US Cyber Command had moved from a defensive to offensive posture, apparently under a military authorization bill Congress passed in 2018 that gives the go-ahead for “clandestine military activity” in cyberspace to “deter, safeguard or defend against attacks or malicious cyberactivities against the United States.”Cyber Command also received new authority last year from the US president under a still-classified document called National Security Presidential Memoranda 13, the Times said.Asked to comment on the Post report, Department of Defense spokeswoman Heather Babb said that “as a matter of policy and for operational security, we do not discuss cyberspace operations, intelligence or planning.” The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.Originally published June 22, 1:26 p.m. PTUpdate, 5:34 p.m.: Adds mention of spying charge against former US Air Force intelligence officer. Security Tags Share your voice A US Army cadet during a cyberdefense exercise. CNET With an OK from the US president, the Pentagon this week launched cyberstrikes that took down Iranian computer networks used to control missile launches, says a report in The Washington Post, which cites unnamed people familiar with the matter. The news comes after Iran shot down a US surveillance drone it said was violating Iranian airspace. In response to the drone attack, the president had approved then pulled back from conventional military attacks on radar facilities, missile batteries and other targets in Iran. But the Thursday night cyberstrikes against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had been in preparation for some time, the Post reported, saying the Pentagon proposed them after Iran allegedly attacked two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman earlier in June.”This operation imposes costs on the growing Iranian cyberthreat, but also serves to defend the United States Navy and shipping operations in the Strait of Hormuz,” Thomas Bossert, a former senior White House cyberofficial in the Trump administration, told the Post.”Our US military has long known that we could sink every IRGC vessel in the strait within 24 hours if necessary,” Bossert told the Post. “And this is the modern version of what the US Navy has to do to defend itself at sea and keep international shipping lanes free.”Referring to the Iranians, an anonymous source told the paper that “this is not something they can put back together so easily.”Cyberwarfare and cyberespionage aren’t new, but moves in these areas have grabbed headlines following Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election and amid worries about Russian interference in the 2020 campaign. Other red flags have included Russia’s shutdown of part of Ukraine’s power grid in 2015, as well as reports that a Russian government-sponsored group had been able to gain access to the control rooms of US electric utilities in 2017.In February, a former US Air Force intelligence officer was charged with espionage for allegedly working with Iranian hackers who used Facebook to try to trick her former colleagues into downloading malware that would track their computer activity.