Fri | Dec 14, 2018

New challenges posed by overnutrition - CAIHR to examine issue at mini-symposium today

Published:Wednesday | November 28, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Professor Marvin Reid

As part of the 70th anniversary commemorations of the University of the West Indies (UWI), the Caribbean Institute for Health Research (CAIHR) will be staging a mini-symposium highlighting the work of its Tropical Metabolism Research Unit (TMRU) over the past 60 years in the national effort to eradicate child malnutrition in Jamaica.

The mini-symposium will be held today at 5 p.m. at Lecture Theatre 2, the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Teaching and Research Complex at UWI.

Professor Alan Jackson, a former TMRU director, and Professor Marvin Reid, the current TMRU director, will trace the extensive research work and responses carried out over the years to eradicate child malnutrition in Jamaica and the new challenges posed by overnutrition in this symposium titled 'Remodelling John's House' in remembrance of Professor John Waterlow, who founded the TMRU in 1957.

 

Achievement

 

"When we closed the CAIHR-TMRU Malnutrition Ward in 2017, it represented a remarkable achievement in the region's nutrition landscape", says Reid.

"Out of the work of Professor John Waterlow and the many other researchers over the years, we improved our understanding of metabolic abnormalities associated with undernutrition and stunting and found solutions to these challenges. Our impact has extended beyond Jamaica to the Caribbean region and other parts of the world."

CAIHR's historical work through the TMRU and its other units has also created a platform of research support for the Ministry of Health's 'Jamaica Moves' current campaign against obesity and the attendant lifestyle diseases, according to the director of the Institute's Epidemiological Research Unit, Professor Marshall Tulloch-Reid.

"Jamaica and the region face another health crisis driven largely by overnutrition, resulting in obesity and a non-communicable disease epidemic. This historic symposium comes at a time when the latest research findings from the just- released National Lifestyle Survey demonstrate that the country is at a critical point in making lasting policy decisions on the health of our population," noted Tulloch-Reid.