Hunger Declines, Obesity Rises in Latin America and Caribbean: FAO, PAHO Report
UN Photo/Gill Fickling
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The report of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), 'Panorama of Food and Nutrition Security in Latin America and the Caribbean,' is an annual publication that provides an overview of regional trends.

The authors highlight that achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG 2) on eradicating hunger will require addressing undernourishment, stunting and overweight.

19 January 2017: While hunger has declined, obesity and overweight are on the rise in Latin America and the Caribbean. In their 2016 report on food security and nutrition, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) cite processed foods and changed dietary patterns as some of the causes.

The report, ‘Panorama of Food and Nutrition Security in Latin America and the Caribbean,’ is an annual publication that provides an overview of regional trends. Sugary and fatty foods are more widely available in the region than in developed countries, while fish availability per capita is lower than in any other region of the world.

The authors highlight that achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG 2) on eradicating hunger will require addressing undernourishment, stunting and overweight. They note that overweight affects at least half the population of all countries in the region, with women being disproportionately affected.

Launching the report, FAO Regional Representative Eve Crowley said the rates of overweight and obesity in the region are alarming and should act as a wake-up call to governments.

The report affirms current initiatives to regulate the advertising of “ultra-processed” foods, introduce food labeling rules, and impose taxes on sugary drinks. It also recommends increasing the supply of healthy food through family farming, school feeding programmes and nutrition education.

Launching the report, FAO Regional Representative Eve Crowley said the rates of overweight and obesity in the region are alarming and should act as a wake-up call to governments to address the issue by linking actions on food security, sustainability, agriculture, nutrition and health. PAHO Director Carissa Etienne called for action on the social determinants of malnutrition, such as lack of access to healthy food, water and sanitation, education and health services, and social protection programmes. [UN Press Release] [FAO Press Release] [Panorama of Food and Nutrition Security in Latin America and the Caribbean (Spanish)] [Key Messages of Report (English)]

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