The Ministry of Health, Wellness, and the Environment with the support from the Pan American Health Organization is launching a Sugar-Sweetened Beverage campaign under the slogan, ‘Less Sugar, Longer Life’.
The campaign seeks to increase public awareness of the dangers associated with excessive consumption of SSBs and promote the consumption of water and other SSB alternatives.
The Ministry will use traditional and social media to reach the public as well as target schools, churches, workplaces, and civil societies through activities such as education sessions, food demos and supermarket tours.
Reducing excessive consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) is a vital action for addressing obesity and NCDs. Consuming a diet high in excessive amounts of added sugar is harmful to health.
For many populations, sugar-sweetened beverages such as sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, juice drinks with added sugar, are some of the main contributors to added sugar in the diet. Just one serving of SSBs can meet or surpass the recommended daily limit for intake of added sugar.
SSBs consumption is directly linked to overweight and obesity, type 2 diabetes, and poor dental health. These conditions can impact persons at all stages of life, potentially impacting the health and productivity of our nation for years to come.
According to the results of the 2009 Global School-based Health Survey 59% of Antiguan and Barbudan students between the ages of 13-15 years old, drank carbonated soft drinks one or more times per day during the last 30 days.
A focus group conducted in 2021 among young children found that 70% consumed SSBs more often than water.
Although SSBs is the focus of this campaign the community is still urged to adopt healthier lifestyles to include a balanced diet, increased physical activity, better-quality sleep patterns and improved mental wellness.