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Br J Nutr. 2010 Oct;104(8):1222-9. doi: 10.1017/S0007114510002011. Epub 2010 May 26.

The nutrition transition in Barbados: trends in macronutrient supply from 1961 to 2003.

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1
Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork, Cork, Republic of Ireland. t.sheehy@ucc.ie

Abstract

Barbados has been experiencing increasing rates of obesity and chronic non-communicable diseases characteristic of a country in nutrition transition. However, few studies have been carried out on how precisely the diet has changed in recent decades. Our aim was to analyse the FAO food balance sheets for Barbados from 1961 to 2003 in order to characterise the changes that have taken place in the macronutrient supply of the country during that period. Annual food balance sheets were downloaded from the FAOSTAT database, and per capita supply for twelve commodity groupings was analysed for energy and macronutrient levels using WISP dietary analysis software (Tinuviel Software, Llanfechell, Anglesey, UK). The food supply in 2003 provided over 2500 kJ (about 600 kcal) more energy per capita per d than it did in 1961. Energy from carbohydrate as a percentage of total energy has fallen from 70% in 1961 to 57% in 2003 and is now at the lower end of WHO recommendations. Energy from fat as a percentage of total energy increased from 19% to 28% and now lies at the upper end of WHO recommendations. Sugars, at over 17% of dietary energy, are well above the upper limit set by the WHO. Despite having methodological limitations associated with the use of food balance statistics, our data suggest that these imbalances need to be addressed as a matter of priority in order to try to reverse the incidence of nutrition-related chronic diseases that are projected to cause increasing disability and premature death in the country in the coming years.

PMID:
20500930
DOI:
10.1017/S0007114510002011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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