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UN shows explosive obesity rates, hunger within Latin America and the Caribbean

13.11.2019 13:14 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) Since 1975, adult obesity within Latin America and the Caribbean region has tripled, while one in four are going hungry, UN Radio says referring to the  Panorama of Food and Nutritional Security 2019, a study jointly published by a group of UN health agencies. As to the report, the Panorama urges countries to take swift action to address the malnutrition issue across the region. «The explosive obesity growth, which affects 24 percent of the regional population, about 105 million people ( almost 2 times up against the global 13.2 percent) — not only has huge economic costs, but also threatens the lives of hundreds of thousands,» Julio Berdegué, Regional Representative for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), admits while commenting on the Panorama. As to the report, the Panorama spotlights the importance of promoting healthier food environments and suggests using taxation and other incentives that favor healthy food, social protection systems, school feeding programmes and the regulation of food advertising and marketing. Thus, the fastest growing trend within the region foods sector is that of ultra-processed foods, what strengthens the population exposure to excessive amounts of sugar, sodium and fat. Every year, 600,000 people within the region die from diet-related diseases, such a diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular illnesses, while inadequate diets are threatening future generations, as the rates of both childhood and adolescent obesity tripled between 1990 and 2016. Improving foods labeling, ensuring safety and quality of foods sold on the street and reformulating ingredients of certain products to ensure nutritional value can also aid the growing problem, the Panorama admits.

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