A large number of Jamaican adolescents and children frequently consume unhealthy foods, such as fast food and carbonated drinks; 23.3% of students between 13-17 years of age are overweight or obese, according to data from the Heart Foundation of Jamaica (HFJ).

The National School Nutrition Policy of Jamaica, which is currently in its initial phase of implementation, has the objective to promote adequate nutrition and healthy habits from the moment children enter educational institutions.

“Children are highly influenced by their peers and their food environment. They are at a stage where they are easily influenced and it is important that the school environment supports a healthy diet,” said Deborah Chen, President of the IAHF and HFJ Executive Director, at the launch of the “Out of our schools” media campaign (see online), which refers to ultra-processed foods (and drinks).