Sweet drink tax not enough to tackle NCD crisis Loop Barbados

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Barbados News

The Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF) is calling for haste in the rolling out of the National School Nutrition Policy.

According to Francine Charles, programme manager of the Childhood Obesity Prevention Programme at the HSF, Barbados is in dire need of the policy.

Speaking to local media at the St Lawrence Primary School, Charles noted that the tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB tax) was not enough to tackle the fight against non-communicable diseases and childhood obesity.

“They have other policies like the SSB Tax [ Sugar-sweetened beverages tax] and you see Barbados is moving ahead in some of those areas but within the schools, the School Nutrition Policy is critical and that is why we are asking parents to really support the policy because it is not a simple idea of a rule, it contains a whole process of how this can be done.

“We are pushing unhealthy stuff out of the schools but at the same time we are educating the children, we are ensuring that there is physical activity and movement happening and all of these things are enshrined in the School Nutrition Policy,” Charles remarked.

“And that is why we are pushing for it to be implemented so it gives us a context for us to start really start protecting our kids when they are in our schools,” she added.

The programme manager of the Childhood Obesity Prevention Programmes stated that HSF wholly supported the implementation of the School Nutrition Policy.

“The School Nutrition Policy actually represents one of the initiatives that the World Health Organization is encouraging countries to implement. The school Nutrition Policy does a number of things. It obviously offers guidelines in what can be sold in and around schools and for us, one of the things that the WHO has required is that there is a restriction of the sale and marketing of unhealthy food and beverages in the schools so we are in full support of a School Nutrition Policy,” Charles maintained.