The purpose of the current study was to assess the prevalence of non-communicable disease risk factors in a sample from Belize Central America. Non-communicable disease has become the leading cause of mortality in Latin American and Caribbean countries, principally cardiovascular disease (CVD). Emergent epidemiological and nutrition transition is associated with increased risk for CVD. Within Belize this transition is in part due to globalization of the food supply, and divergence from Belizean food guidelines. Cross-sectional survey research was employed in a convenience sample (n=112) of residents in the city of San Ignácio, Belize. Racial and ethnic characteristics were 33.0% “Mestizo” (n=37), 19.6% “Mixed” (n=22), 17.0% “Creole” (n=19), 15.2% “Other”, (n=17), 7.1% “Mayan” (n=8), 3.6% “Mennonite” (n=4), and 1.8% (n=2) each for “Garifuna” and “White”. A modified survey from the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Belizean Food Guide Pyramid assessed cardiovascular disease risk factors, dietary patterns and perceived health status. Chi-Square cross tabulations were performed to describe the sample. On average greater than 75% (n=82) of participants reported not meeting the dietary guidelines set forth by the Belizean Food Guide Pyramid. Of participants with a history of screening for hypertension (n=88), hypercholesterolemia (n=45) or diabetes (n=37) the results showed prevalence rates of 11.4%, 26.7% and 13.5% respectively. The findings indicated 91% (n=102) of the sample reported either chronic health issues or poor health status. These preliminary results suggest further research is needed to understand the globalization of the food supply and its impact on the health of Belizeans.
|Keywords:||Belize, Globalization, Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors, Food Patterns, Non-Communicable Diseases|
Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida, USA
Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida, USA
Professor, Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida, USA
University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida, USA
Student, Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida, USA
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