Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


VIRTUAL: The Dangers of Sweetened Beverages in the African Diaspora

12 June 2021, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

The Dangers of Sweetened Beverages in the African Diaspora

Seminar on the potentially deadly impact of sweet drinks in the African diaspora

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Sarah Parker Remond Centre / Black History Walks

This is an online event. Zoom link will be sent 30 minutes before the start.

This event is organised by Black History Walks in collaboration with UCL's Sarah Parker Remond Centre

“The scientific, medical, and public health communities all agree that the negative effects of sugar-sweetened beverages on weight gain, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers are of great concern. The Ministry of Health recognizes this concern and is in the process of developing a sugar-sweetened beverage policy that will include interventions to reduce the consumption of SSBs in the Federation. Meanwhile, we are encouraging the general public to ‘Rethink Your Drink’ by paying close attention to the sugar content in the drinks you consume by actively reading the nutrition labels and drinking more water.”
Dr Marissa Carty, Non Communicable Diseases Coordinator at the Ministry of Health, St Kitts-Nevis

Across the Caribbean there are major problems with non communicable diseases (NCDs), obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer .These issues were highlighted by Professor Hilary Beckles in his 2013 speech on reparations which recently went viral and can be seen below. Similar health concerns can also be found throughout the African diaspora. From Barbados to the Bahamas various countries are taking radical steps to reduce the damage caused by sweet drinks and unhealthy but popular foods. There is often entrenched opposition from vested local interests and multi national corporations who practice different standards in Africa and the Caribbean than in Europe.

This online talk with Q&A will feature speakers from Lake Health and Wellbeing who will cover the following topics:

  • The challenge of Sweetened Beverages and its links to obesity and NCDs in the Caribbean
  • Barriers to progress: Industry interference
  • Solutions, campaigns and examples of success
  • Question and answer session and educational resources


  • Frances Charles Programme Manager, The Heart and Stroke Foundation, Barbados
  • Abi Begho, Founder and Director of Lake Health and Well Being
  • Isalean Phillip, Advocacy & Research Officer, Lake Health & Wellbeing
  • Rachel Morrison, Caribbean Country Coordinator, Global Health Advocacy Incubator

About the Lake Foundation:

Lake Health and Wellbeing is a registered NGO (Non Governmental Organisation) headquartered in St Kitts and Nevis that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of the local, regional and online community through research, Public Health interventions, events, campaigns and by offering Public Health support services to small organisations.