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Diabetes is prevalent across the Caribbean with a high rate of related amputations and disabilities, and high personal and financial costs. Growing rates of obesity in the region, and globally, worsen these costs. This link explores the problem in the USA and proposes an ethical strategy to combat obesity by regulating the built environment.  David Resnik says in his article “Requiring that a home have a sidewalk in front of it is no different, in principle, from requiring that it have railing on entrance steps higher than 30 inches, since both measures are designed to protect or promote human health. A zoning law that promotes the development of schools and businesses within walking distance of homes is no different, in principle, from a law that prohibits factories from being built near schools. … Instead of limiting or controlling choices, they enhance one’s ability to make healthier choices: a person can choose to walk to work, enjoy a park, or take the stairs instead of the elevator”.

We invite members to post comments on why Caribbean health systems should, or should not, adopt this approach, and what challenges they might have to overcome in doing so.


Look for comments this month, and a new posting in early May.

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