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Initiatives in the Workplace- The Hotel Industry's Model Prepared for Workshop Towards Obesity Prevention in the Caribbean November 20 - 22, 2000 Barbados Presenter: Bernice Dyer-Regis Training Specialist Quality Tourism for the Caribbean Vision for Caribbean Tourism

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Initiatives in the Workplace-The Hotel Industry's Model

Prepared for Workshop

Towards Obesity Prevention in the Caribbean

November 20 - 22, 2000


Presenter: Bernice Dyer-Regis

Training Specialist

Quality Tourism for the Caribbean

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Vision for Caribbean Tourism

"To be the Safest, Happiest, and Healthiest

of Comparable Destinations in the World"

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Quality Tourism for the CaribbeanCaribbean Tourism, Health Safety & Resource Conservation Project

Meeting a health need through a public-private partnership

  • IADB major funder

  • Other funding partners - CDB, GTZ

  • CAREC- CAST joint implementation

  • Initial countries - T&T, Barbados,

    Jamaica, Bahamas, OECS

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Quality Tourism for the Caribbean


  • 1, 100 Caribbean Hotel Association

    members and 750 allied members

  • Provide high-quality education and

    training related to sustainable tourism

  • Serve as a vital link to all tourism stake-

    holders in the region

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Quality Tourism for the Caribbean


  • Improve health status of Caribbean people

  • Increase capabilities of 21 member

    countries in various disciplines

  • Provide technical co-operation, service,

    training and research

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  • To improve the quality and competitiveness of the tourism industry, through the establishment and dissemination of quality standards, systems and registrations designed to ensure safe, healthy and environmentally conscious products and services for guests and staff.

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  • Needs assessment

  • Caribbean wide standards

  • Standards-based registration systems for health and environment

  • Human resource development

  • Recognisable brand identity

    (Alliances - tourism, health, hotels)

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  • Industry

    • Quality & competitiveness of tourism product improved

    • Marketing edge, reduced insurance costs for participants

    • More profitable, sustainable tourism & development

    • Meet and exceed local public health requirements

  • Countries

    • Improved national capacity for disease surveillance and control through monitoring illness trends in hotels

    • Better health situation of workers & families in industry

    • Healthier conditions for intra-regional travellers, who made up 10-15% of the 14 million stay over tourists in ‘97

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CONTRIBUTION OF TOURISM"Tourism is to the Caribbean what oil is to the Middle East"


  • 19.54 million tourists arrival

  • 12.27 million cruise passengers

  • Generated US$ 32.5 billion in economic activity

  • One in four jobs in tourism industry

  • Provided 2.9 million jobs in the region

  • Responsible for 31% of the region's GDP

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  • Premise- The Quality of Service Provided to Guests is Dependent on the Health and Wellness of Employees

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  • 2, 300 rooms and suites

  • 18 restaurants/5 coffee shops

  • Staff of approximately 6000

  • Staff dining room serves breakfast,

    lunch, dinner and snacks buffet style

  • Nurse provides service to staff members

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Nurse's observation of the following:

  • Vast majority of employees appear to be over-weight

  • Significant weight increase in new employees after short period

  • Employees' over-generous servings in the dining room

    • Employees' unhealthy food choices

    • More french fries/less baked potatoes

    • More ice cream/less fresh fruit salad

    • More stewed meats/less baked meats

    • Little or no vegetables

    • Generous servings of sauces, gravies and dressings

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Hypertension Screening - Pharmaceutical Company

  • Significant number of workers high blood pressure

    readings above 160/100

  • 20% of those were under 40 yrs

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  • New Caribbean Cooperation in Health II - regional Health Priority Area of Chronic Non-communicable Diseases

  • Applying the appropriate strategies of the Caribbean Charter for Health Promotion to the priority areas

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  • Increase the knowledge of employees in relation

    to healthy food choices

  • Equip employees with personal health skills pertaining

    to exercise and weight control

  • Create a supportive environment at the workplace

    to make the healthy choice the easy choice

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PHASE 1: Collection of Baseline Data

  • Select a representative sample of employees who have

    at least one meal per day at the staff dining room

  • Measure weight and height to determine Body Mass

    Index (BMI) and also waist circumference

  • Administer questionnaire to elicit information on employees:

    • Knowledge of their current health status in relation to diabetes, hypertension

      and heart disease

    • Family history of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease

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Collection of Baseline DataCont’d

  • Perception of individual weight in relation to obesity

  • Perceptions of obesity

  • Food preferences at staff dining room

  • Regularity of physical exercise

  • Alcohol misuse and tobacco use

  • Perception of relationship between obesity and chronic

    non-communicable diseases

  • Willingness to participate in worksite healthy lifestyle


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PHASE 2: Programme Development/Implementation


  • Training for chefs in collaboration with

    CFNI re - modification of menu choices and recipes

  • Education sessions for staff re:

    • Relationship between food, weight, exercise

      and CNCDs

    • Healthy combination of menu items

    • Achievement and maintenance of ideal weight

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Programme Development/ImplementationCont’d


  • Setting up of gym at the workplace

    to facilitate employee work-out for

    20-30 mins at least three times

    a week

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Phase 3: Programme Evaluation

At 6 and 12 months after implementation:

Compare individual baseline data with

current data re:

  • BMI, food preferences

  • Knowledge/attitudes/practices in relation

    to diet, exercise and weight control

  • Facilitating and mutilating factors

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  • Collaborate with CFNI in upgrading the initiative to a comprehensive Worksite Wellness Promotion Programme

  • In conjunction with CFNI and the Caribbean Culinary Federation, develop training programme for chefs in the preparation of healthier meals