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The Caribbean region has some of the world’s more frequent consumption of sugary drinks among children and has a rising prevalence of obesity. Being comprised of smaller island nations, the context is also unique and thus approaches for encouraging healthier food environments will also need to be different than in other places.

Implemented Policies

Interim guidelines for beverages pending completion of the National School Nutrition Policy / Standards | Implemented January 1, 2019

Interim guidelines for beverages | Implemented October, 2014

In 2018, Jamaica’s Ministry of Health created interim guidelines for beverages until the completion of the National School Nutrition Policy and the National School Nutrition Standards (slated for 2020). The guidelines prohibit sweetened beverages being sold or served in schools if they are in excess of set sugar content limits, starting January 2019 and getting stricter with each year:

  • Maximum 6 g sugar/100 mL – effective January 1, 2019
  • Maximum 5 g sugar/100 mL – effective January 1, 2020
  • Maximum 4 g sugar/100 mL – effective January 1, 2020
  • Maximum 2.5 g sugar/100 mL – effective January 1, 2020

Evaluations

We are assessing school food environments in Jamaican and Bajan schools in order to determine whether schools are abiding by Jamaica’s beverage guidelines and if other aspects of the school food environment are changing.

CAIHRResearch Partners

Caribbean Institute for Health Research (CaIHR) at the University of the West Indies (UWI)

Research Team

Suzanne Soares-Wynter, PhD
CaIHR, Jamaica

Natasha Sobers
George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre, CaIHR, Barbados