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Public Health Nutr. 2013 Sep;16(9):1693-702. doi: 10.1017/S136898001200537X. Epub 2013 Jan 4.

Trends in energy and nutrient supply in Trinidad and Tobago from 1961 to 2007 using FAO food balance sheets.

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  • 1School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork, Cork, Republic of Ireland.



Trinidad and Tobago has experienced an epidemiological transition over recent decades characterised by reduced rates of communicable diseases but rapidly increasing rates of obesity and non-communicable chronic diseases. The objective of the present study was to investigate the changes in energy and nutrient supply that have taken place in Trinidad and Tobago between 1961 and 2007.


Food balance sheets for each year between 1961 and 2007 were downloaded from the FAOSTAT database and daily per capita supply for seventeen food commodity groupings was calculated. After appropriate coding, energy and nutrient supply were determined using dietary analysis software.


FAO food balance sheets for Trinidad and Tobago from 1961 to 2007.




The food supply in 2007 provided an extra 1561 kJ (373 kcal)/capita per d than it did in 1961. Energy from carbohydrate as a percentage of total energy fell from 62% in 1961 to 57% in 2007, whereas energy from fat as a percentage of total energy increased from 26% to over 30% and now lies at the upper end of WHO recommendations. Sugars increased from 20% to over 26% of total energy and are well above WHO recommendations. When expressed on a nutrient density basis, supplies of vitamin A, folate and Ca are lower than WHO recommendations.


Nutritional imbalances in the Trinidadian food supply need to be addressed to combat the rise in nutrition-related chronic disease that is projected to cause increased disability and premature death in the country in the coming years.

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