Obesity Prevention: Strategies and Challenges in Latin America
Purpose of Review
The purpose of this study is to present changes of policies and norms aimed to reduce obesity levels that have been adopted in some Latin American countries.
The global increase of the excess weight within the population has been demanding governmental actions aimed at preventing health impacts generated by obesity. Over recent years, many Latin American countries have established a number of regulations aimed at reducing weight in the population using interventions that could effectively prevent childhood obesity, including the taxation of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), increasing physical activity in open spaces, and, especially, front-of-package labeling.
Some strategies are part of the Action Plan for Prevention of Child and Adolescence Obesity signed by all countries in Latin America, which currently have among the highest prevalence of childhood obesity in the world. Among them are the implementation of fiscal policies on energy-dense and nutrient-poor foods and taxes on SSBs; improvements in nutrition labeling, highlighting the front-of-package (FOP) labeling to promote the choice of healthier products at the time of purchase; and promotion of an active lifestyle, such as encouraging the use of bicycle paths or physical activity programs at school. The real impact of these prevention strategies implemented in Latin America on the prevalence of obesity is still unknown.
KeywordsObesity, prevention Chronic disease, non-communicable Meals Fast food Physical activity School health services Schools, public health Food labeling
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Louise Cominato, Georgia Finardi Di Biagio, Denise Lellis, Ruth Rocha Franco, Marcio Correa Mancini, and Maria Edna de Melo declare they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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