• Overview
  • Obesity prevalence
  • Population breakdowns
  • Drivers
  • Comorbidities
  • Economic impact
  • Policies
  • Contextual factors
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Obesity prevalence

Adults, 2011

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
Sample size:1234
Area covered:National
References:Health of The Nation Survey, Barbados 2015. http://www.archive.healthycaribbean.org/newsletters/aug-2015/CDRC_HealthOfTheNationSurvey.pdf
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 1991

Age:20+
Sample size:Not Specified
References:FAO Nutrition Country Profile the Barbados 2002
Notes:This survey did not give the specified age range of the Adults selected.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2011

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:13-15
Sample size:1629
Area covered:National
References:Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS), available at https://www.who.int/ncds/surveillance/gshs/2011_Barbados_GSHS_FS.pdf?ua=1 (last accessed 25.11.20)
Notes:WHO cutoffs.
Cutoffs:WHO

Children, 2010

Survey type:Measured
Age:8-11
Sample size:580
Area covered:Subnational
References:Fernandez MA, Kubow S, Gray-Donald K, Knight J and Gaskin PS.2015. Drastic increases in overweight and obesity from 1981 to 2010 and related risk factors: results from the Barbados Children's Health and Nutrition Study. Public Health Nutr. 18(17)/ pp. 3070-7.
Notes:WHO cut offs used (IOTF cut-offs also available but Overweight and obese not separate)
Cutoffs:WHO

Children, 1981

Survey type:Measured
Age:5-9
Sample size:Not specified
References:FAO Nutrition Profile Barbados. August 2003. FAO, Rome, Italy.
Notes:See paper for cut-off details
Cutoffs:Other

Overweight/obesity by age

Adults, 2011

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:1234
Area covered:National
References:Health of The Nation Survey, Barbados 2015. http://www.archive.healthycaribbean.org/newsletters/aug-2015/CDRC_HealthOfTheNationSurvey.pdf (last accessed 16.07.2019)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Insufficient physical activity

Adults, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

Men, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

Women, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

Children, 2016

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, https://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893ADO?lang=en (last accessed 16.03.21)
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Boys, 2016

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, https://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893ADO?lang=en (last accessed 16.03.21)
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Girls, 2016

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, https://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893ADO?lang=en (last accessed 16.03.21)
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Children, 2010

Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893?lang=en
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Boys, 2010

Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893?lang=en
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Girls, 2010

Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893?lang=en
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Estimated per capita fruit intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita fruit intake (g/day)

Estimated per-capita processed meat intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita processed meat intake (g per day)

Estimated per capita whole grains intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita whole grains intake (g/day)

Mental health - depression disorders

Adults, 2015

References:Prevalence data from Global Burden of Disease study 2015 (http://ghdx.healthdata.org) published in: Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva:World Health Organization; 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Definitions:% of population with depression disorders

Mental health - anxiety disorders

Adults, 2015

References:Prevalence data from Global Burden of Disease study 2015 (http://ghdx.healthdata.org) published in: Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva:World Health Organization; 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Definitions:% of population with anxiety disorders

% Infants exclusively breastfed 0-5 months

Children, 1998-2019

Area covered:National
References:Barbados multiple indicator cluster survey 2012: Final report (MICS4). Bridgetown, Barbados: BSS, 2014.
Notes:See UNICEF website for further survey information. Available at : https://data.unicef.org/resources/dataset/infant-young-child-feeding/ (last accessed 28.9.21) Citation: United Nations Children’s Fund, Division of Data, Analysis, Planning and Monitoring (2021). Global UNICEF Global Databases: Infant and Young Child Feeding: Exclusive breastfeeding, New York, September 2021.
Definitions:% exclusively breastfed 0-5 months

Oesophageal cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, oesophagus, adults ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, oesophagus, adults ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Breast cancer

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, breast, females, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Colorectal cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, colorectum, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, colorectum, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Pancreatic cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, pancreas, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, pancreas, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Gallbladder cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, gallbladder, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, gallbladder, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Kidney cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, kidney, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, kidney, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Cancer of the uterus

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, cervix uteri, females, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Raised blood pressure

Adults, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Men, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Women, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Raised cholesterol

Adults, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Men, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Women, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Raised fasting blood glucose

Men, 2014

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A869?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised % raised fasting blood glucose (>= 7.0 mmol/L or on medication).

Women, 2014

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A869?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised % raised fasting blood glucose (>= 7.0 mmol/L or on medication).

Diabetes prevalence

Adults, 2021

Age:20-79
Area covered:National
References:Reproduced with kind permission International Diabetes Federation.  IDF Diabetes Atlas, 10th edn. Brussels, Belgium:International Diabetes Federation, 2021. http://www.diabetesatlas.org
Definitions:Age-adjusted comparative prevalence of diabetes, %

Adults, 2019

Age:20-79
References:Reproduced with kind permission International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 9th edn. Brussels,Belgium: 2019. Available at: https://www.diabetesatlas.org
Definitions:Diabetes age-adjusted comparative prevalence (%).

Adults, 2017

References:Reproduced with kind permission of IDF, International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 8th edition. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation, 2017. http://www.diabetesatlas.org
Definitions:Diabetes age-adjusted comparative prevalence (%).

Total economic cost as % of GDP

Country comparisons

You can choose to compare this country’s data with the data for up to four other countries.

Policies, Interventions and Actions

Childhood Obesity Prevention Programme

The Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados launched this Childhood Obesity Prevention website as part of their Childhood Obesity Prevention (COP) Programme. COP which started in 2018 aims to address the alarming rates of childhood obesity in Barbados. The programme focuses on developing mass media campaigns to increase awareness of the health risks connected to consuming sugary drinks regularly. COP also promotes policy change which can help to secure sustainable changes regarding Childhood obesity.

Categories:Evidence of Community Interventions/Campaign
Non-national obesity strategies
Year(s):2018 (ongoing)
Target age group:Children
Organisation:Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados
Find out more:healthykidsbarbados.org

Too Much Junk

In May 2018, the HCC launched the CSO Regional Action Team for Childhood Obesity Prevention including key members of civil society in eight countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, St Lucia, and St Kitts Nevis. Together, these organisations have shared materials and best practices in an effort to increase the public awareness around Childhood Obesity and its prevention and to garner thousands of signatures of support for the policies proposed in the HCC’s Call to Action at www.toomuchjunk.org.

Categories:Transnational Obesity Strategies/Policy or Action Plan
Categories (partial):Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Evidence of Community Interventions/Campaign
Year(s):2018
Target age group:Children
Organisation:Health Caribbean Coalition
Find out more:www.healthycaribbean.org

Food-based dietary guidelines for Barbados

The guidelines were developed by the National Nutrition Centre (under the Ministry of Health) with support from FAO. They have been endorsed by the Government of Barbados. The Barbados map is the chosen food guide. The map represents the main food groups and the proportions recommended for a healthy diet. It is divided into the six Caribbean food groups: staples, vegetables, fruits, legumes, foods from animals and fats and oils; and surrounded by images of people doing physical activity. (Available only in English language)

Categories:Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Year(s):2017 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:National Nutrition Centre
Linked document:Download linked document
References:https://www.fao.org/nutrition/education/food-dietary-guidelines/regions/countries/barbados/en/

NCD Country Profiles 2018 (Obesity Targets)

The profiles also provide data on the key metabolic risk factors, namely raised blood pressure, raised blood glucose and obesity and National Targets on Obesity (as of 2017)

Categories:Evidence of Obesity Target
Year(s):2017 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:World Health Organisation
References:Noncommunicable diseases country profiles 2018. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2018. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.

Excise tax on sweetened beverages

Since 2015, a 10% excise tax has applied to all carbonated soft drinks, sports drinks, sweetened fruit juices, and juice drinks. The aim of this tax is to encourage people living in Barbados to consume less sugar. From the 1st April 2022, the tax was raised to 20%.

Categories:Taxation/Subsidies on Food or Beverages or law relating to public health
Year(s):2015 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Government
Find out more:extranet.who.int
Linked document:Download linked document
References:foodnavigator-latam.com (n.d.) “Important consequences for public health”: Is Barbados’ sugar tax increasing sugar intake? [Online]. foodnavigator-latam.com. Available from: https://www.foodnavigator-latam.com/Article/2019/02/08/Important-consequences-for-public-health-Is-Barbados-sugar-tax-increasing-sugar-intake.‌

Barbados Strategic Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases 2015-2019

To reduce the preventable and avoidable burden of morbidity, mortality and disability due to non-communicable diseases through inter-sectoral collaboration and cooperation To promote supportive environments to encourage healthy lifestyles and reduce risk factorsfor NCDs To establish, implement, monitor and evaluate standards for NCD treatment and care so that patients living with NCDs have their risk factors controlled to target and receive evidenced based

Categories:Evidence of NCD strategy
Year(s):2014-2019
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:National NCD commision- Barbados Ministry of Health
Find out more:extranet.who.int
Linked document:Download linked document
References:To reduce the preventable and avoidable burden of morbidity, mortality and disability due to non-communicable diseases through inter-sectoral collaboration and cooperation To promote supportive environments to encourage healthy lifestyles and reduce risk factorsfor NCDs To establish, implement, monitor and evaluate standards for NCD treatment and care so that patients living with NCDs have their risk factors controlled to target and receive evidenced based

National Plan of Action for Childhood Obesity Prevention and Control

Goal: The ultimate goal is to reverse the upward trends in obesity by 5% by 2019 Objectives: To improve increase exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months by 20% by 2019; To reduce prevalence of low physical activity in adolescents by 30%; To develop and implement policies and regulations to reduce the impact on children of marketing of foods and non- alcoholic beverages high in saturated fats, trans fatty acids, free sugars or salt; and To have at least 70 schools designated Health Promoting Schools by 2019 (Appendix 2).

Categories (partial):Evidence of National Obesity Strategy/Policy or Action plan
Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Evidence of Physical Activity Guidelines/Policy
Year(s):2014-2018
Target age group:Children
Organisation:Ministry of Health
Find out more:extranet.who.int
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Anon (2015) National Plan of Action for Childhood Obesity Prevention and Control (2015-2018) Barbados-Childhood Obesity Prevention Program (B-CHOPP). [Online]. Available from: https://extranet.who.int/nutrition/gina/sites/default/files/BRB%202015%20National%20Plan%20of%20Action%20for%20Childhood%20Obesity.pdf [Accessed: 7 July 2020]. ‌

CARICOM Regional Standard: Specification for labelling of pre-packaged foods (CRS 5: 2010)

Voluntary national labelling guidelines for packaged foods and drinks in place but mandatory when there is a health or nutrition claim. (Available only in English language)

Categories:Labelling Regulation/Guidelines
Year(s):2010 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Information provided with kind permission of WHO Global database on the Implementation of Nutrition Action (GINA): https://extranet.who.int/nutrition/gina/en/node/25355 (last accessed 10.08.22)

No actions could be found for the above criteria.

Contextual factors

Disclaimer: These contextual factors should be interpreted with care. Results are updated as regularly as possible and use very specific criteria. The criteria used and full definitions are available for download at the bottom of this page.

Tap on a tick to find out more about policies influencing this factor.

Labelling

Is there mandatory nutrition labelling?Present-(voluntary)
Front-of-package labelling?Absent
Back-of-pack nutrition declaration?Present
Color coding?Absent
Warning label?Absent

Regulation and marketing

Are there fiscal policies on unhealthy products?Present
Tax on unhealthy foods?Absent
Tax on unhealthy drinks?Present
Are there fiscal policies on healthy products?Absent
Subsidy on fruits?Absent
Subsidy on vegetables?Absent
Subsidy on other healthy products?Absent
Mandatory limit or ban of trans fat (all settings)?Absent
Mandatory limit of trans fats in place (all settings)? Absent
Ban on trans-fats or phos in place (all settings)? Absent
Are there any mandatory policies/marketing restrictions on the promotion of unhealthy food/drinks to children?Absent
Mandatory restriction on broadcast media?Absent
Mandatory restriction on non-broadcast media?Absent
Voluntary policies/marketing restrictions on the promotion of unhealthy food/drinks to children?Absent
Are there mandatory standards for food in schools?Absent
Are there any mandatory nutrient limits in any manufactured food products?Absent
Nutrition standards for public sector procurement?Absent

Political will and support

National obesity strategy or nutrition and physical activity national strategy?Absent
National obesity strategy?Absent
National childhood obesity strategy?Present
Comprehensive nutrition strategy?Absent
Comprehensive physical activity strategy?Absent
Evidence-based dietary guidelines and/or RDAs?Present
National target(s) on reducing obesity?Present
Guidelines/policy on obesity treatment?Absent
Promotion of breastfeeding?Absent

Monitoring and surveillance

Monitoring of the prevalence and incidence for the main obesity-related NCDs and risk factors?Present
Within 5 years?Absent

Governance and resource

Multi-sectoral national co-ordination mechanism for obesity or nutrition (including obesity)?Unknown

Key

Present
Present (voluntary)
Incoming
Absent
Unknown

Last updated September 13, 2022

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