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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2014, Article ID 580928, 10 pages
Review Article

Early Childhood Nutritional Status in CARICOM Countries: An Overview with respect to Five Nutrition Related Millennium Development Goals

1Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill BB11115, Barbados
2Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica
3Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill BB11115, Barbados

Received 2 February 2014; Accepted 28 April 2014; Published 8 May 2014

Academic Editor: Linda M. Gerber

Copyright © 2014 Pamela S. Gaskin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Previous reviews of nutritional status in children under 5 years describe the Caribbean grouped with Latin America. This paper focuses specifically on the Caribbean and the goals and targets of the Millennium Declaration that have bearing on childhood development. The results indicate that CARICOM countries have made progress in terms of child health as assessed by gross health indicators. Yet, the millennium generation experiences coexistence of undernutrition and overweight in early childhood. The associations of GNI with markers such as poverty indices are somewhat inconsistent with traditional findings and highlight a need to reassess the causes of infant mortality and low birth weight. However, a lack of systematic local data has hampered progress on an individual country basis. Interventions that deal more pointedly with country specific needs are required including those targeting obesity if the MDGs are to be attained by all member states.