On Monday October 17th 2022, the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) in partnership with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados (HSFB), the Heart Foundation of Jamaica (HFJ) and the Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network (JYAN) re-launched “Make It Make Sense” — a regional, digital media campaign to build support for healthy food and nutrition policies by highlighting conflicts of interest and interference around policy development.
The campaign was originally launched on Thursday May 12, 2022 and supports HCC’s ongoing advocacy efforts around evidence-based food and nutrition policies to promote healthier food environments and reduce obesity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) — like hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes — among Caribbean people.
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Make It Make Sense calls on our governments to make public policy decisions:
- Free from the influence of entities with vested interests, and;
- Based on the best available scientific evidence, free from conflicts of interest.
Substantial evidence supports the effectiveness (including Caribbean evidence) of policies like front-of-package warning labelling (FOPWL), regulation of the sale and marketing of ultra-processed foods and beverages in school settings and fiscal policies such as taxation of sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs), to regulate ultra-processed food products and improve our food environments. However, weak management of conflict of interests and policy interference is one of the major barriers to the adoption and implementation of evidence-based food policies in the Caribbean.
To protect our policymaking processes and implement effective policies and regulations, we must acknowledge and address the constant, systematic, and sophisticated interference tactics that delay, dilute or altogether derail healthy food policy development. This campaign is a key step in raising awareness about conflict of interest and industry interference in public policy and building public and policymaker support for protecting public policy from vested interests.
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