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Community Nutrition and Health

    THEME: Community nutrition and health

    Theme leaders: Isabella Francis-Granderson (UWI) and Katherine Gray-Donald (McGill)

    Subproject: Nutrition interventions in primary schools  

    Subproject coordinators: Isabella Francis-Granderson (UWI) and Katherine Gray-Donald (McGill)

    It is estimated that over the period 1970-1990 the prevalence of obesity has increased by almost 400 percent and is now the contributor to chronic non-communicable diseases in the Caribbean. Data compiled by the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI) reveal that between 2000 and 2010, the incidence of overweight among children (0 to 5 years) in CARICOM countries increased from about 5% to close to 15 %. 

    This subproject will be undertaken in St Kitts-Nevis and in Trinidad & Tobago, and is aims to reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity among school children through dietary modification of school lunch programmes and nutrition education of children and their caregivers.

    • A baseline nutritional survey of children 5-9 years and their caregivers will be undertaken to assess their dietary intake patterns, examine some of the markers of nutritional problems, such as underweight and obesity, anemia and serum lipid profile.  This survey will be repeated to measure changes due to planned interventions with these children and their caregivers. 
    • School lunches will be modified to enhance the use of locally  grown farm produce and improve the nutrient content , safety and acceptability to primary school children
    • Education programs centered nutrition, food preparation and other challenges to healthy eating will be designed and targeted towards schoolchildren and their parents.
    • The success of the project interventions will be evaluated through measurements of outcomes related to nutrition, and an understanding of how the intervention was instrumental in promoting change.
    • In collaboration with regional and local project partners, knowledge transfer of successful aspects of the nutrition interventions will be undertaken in other CARICOM countries.