Obesity and overweight have spread like a wildfire throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, threatening the health, well-being and food and nutritional security of millions of people.
Lawmakers in Latin America are joining forces to strengthen institutional frameworks that sustain the fight against hunger in a region that, despite being dubbed “the next global breadbasket”, still has more than 34 million undernourished people.
In the last half-century, people’s lifestyles have changed dramatically. Life expectancy has risen almost everywhere, but this has been accompanied by an increase of so-called non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, respiratory diseases, and diabetes – causing more and more deaths in all corners of the world.
The vast international and national media impact of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), held in Rome from Nov. 19 to 21, demonstrated the growing interest that nutritional problems are arousing worldwide, primarily because the media themselves are increasingly reporting issues related to poverty and exclusion.
Not only do 805 million people go to bed hungry every day, with one-third of global food production (1.3 billion tons each year) being wasted, there is another scenario that reflects the nutrition paradox even more starkly: two billion people are affected by micronutrients deficiencies while 500 million individuals suffer from obesity.
The scourge of malnutrition affects the most vulnerable in society, and it hurts most in the earliest stages of life. Today, more than 800 million people are chronically hungry, about 11 percent of the global population.
Corporations marketing unhealthy foods to poorer consumers are being challenged for their role in the growing global burden of diseases like diabetes.
Undeniably, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) helped lift specific health concerns onto the global agenda.
Over two billion people - or 30 percent of the world’s population - are either obese or overweight, and no country has successfully reduced obesity rates to date, according to a new study published this week by the British medical journal, The Lancet.
Mexico is fighting obesity and accompanying diseases with a one-peso per litre tax on sugar-sweetened beverages that kicked in Jan. 1. France implemented its “cola tax” in 2012. Several U.S. states tax sugar-sweetened beverages, including Vermont, Rhode Island, Arkansas, Tennessee, West Virginia and Virginia. Illinois legislators are considering such a tax.
Over 40 million children under the age of five were overweight in 2010. In fact, since 1980, the worldwide prevalence of obesity has doubled, according to the British medical journal the Lancet.
The prevalence of obesity and hypertension among the poor in Chile is a factor that aggravates inequality, requiring public policies for prevention and mitigation of the high cost of a healthy diet.
Sreelakshmi, an office executive in a major diagnostic laboratory in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of the southern Indian state of Kerala, ends her 11-hour working day to return home at night to a mountain of domestic chores.
Pediatricians and nutritionists stress that there is no single factor explaining why Argentina is the country in Latin America with the highest rate of obese and overweight children.
As the 2012 London Olympics gears up to open on Jul. 27, criticism of the longstanding partnership between the Games and sponsor McDonald’s has stolen a small portion of the limelight.