Killing Ourselves in Trinidad and Tobago

the new food pyramid

While the police was busy tracking down and arresting gang leaders, gang members, gun makers, drug pushers, lords  and other assorted big fish, the Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, quite rightly, went to the United Nations and suggested “the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon consider the appointment of a special envoy to deal with the issue of non-communicable diseases.” Non-communicable diseases are a major killer in Trinidad and Tobago and the rest of the world, taking more lives than gangs, foreign-used car drivers and scrap iron yards. Wikipedia says “The World Health Organization (WHO) reports NCDs to be by far the leading cause of mortality in the world, representing over 60% of all deaths.” Also “the WHO’s World Health Report 2002 identified five important risk factors for non-communicable disease in the top ten leading risks to health. These are raised blood pressure, raised cholesterol, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and overweight.” Our current Minister of Health, Faud Kahn, wants to tackle MSG while the former Minister, Jerry Narace, wanted to zap sugar. Both are honorable intentions but we should take in front.

The police and regiment are risking their lives making Trinidad and Tobago a safer place, but we are celebrating the likes of McDonald’s and Wendy’s when they open their doors in Trinidad and Tobago. We complain about Mr. Big and Mr. Big Fish while chugging down doubles and washing it down with a Solo, completely ignoring the Big Killers that are more terrifying than an out-of-control Colombian drug gang, if human body count is considered, that is.

It would appear that the late Dr. Atkins got it more right than wrong, and we should read and understand the works of people like Gary Taubes, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick and Dr. Arthur Agastston just to get an understanding of the bigger and hidden picture. We have to forget what simply taste good and worry about what is good for our health. It will be no point taking guns and drugs of the streets while letting killer foods roam the country like an honorary citizen with diplomatic immunity.

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3 thoughts on “Killing Ourselves in Trinidad and Tobago

  1. Pingback: Trinidad & Tobago: Non-Communicable Diseases · Global Voices

  2. Completely agree with you here! I went to West Mall the other day and was appalled to see a line of at lead 50 people standing outside of McDonalds! How could that be? I have to say, looking in from an outsider’s point of view, Trinidadian culture is not at all conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Take drinking for instance..I’m not a big drinker..and I feel so much pressure whenever I’m out with people, who continually ask me “Why you not drinking? Everything ok?” It’s as if..If I’m not sloppy drunk, something must be wrong with me. Definitely takes some getting used to.

    • Most Trinis are wannabe foreigners so buying McDonald’s or Wendy’s are some of the things we do to appear cool to other misguided Trinis. Not drinking is cool, so too is not getting arrested for drunk driving. The people who ask if everything is ok are the ones who need to check themselves in a rehab center 🙂

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