The Panorama of Food and Nutrition Security in Latin America and the Caribbean 2016
This report (PDF only in Spanish) from the FAO and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) provides an overview of the food and nutrition security status in Latin America and the Caribbean. Obesity and overweight are on the rise throughout both regions, and are particularly prevalent among women and children. Around 58% of the inhabitants of the region are overweight and obesity affects 23% of the population. The main factors contributing to this rise are linked to changing dietary patterns. Economic growth, increased urbanization, higher average incomes and the integration of the region into international markets have reduced the consumption of traditional preparations and increased consumption of ultra-processed products. To address this, the report calls for the promotion of healthy and sustainable food systems that link agriculture, food, nutrition and health. Countries should promote the sustainable production of fresh, safe and nutritious foods, ensuring their supply, diversity and access, especially for the most vulnerable sectors. This should be complemented with nutrition education and consumer warnings about the nutritional composition of foods high in sugar, fat and salt. The report noted how several governments have introduced policies aimed at improving the nutrition. For example Barbados, Dominica and Mexico have approved taxes for sugar-sweetened beverages, while Bolivia, Chile, Peru and Ecuador have healthy food laws that regulate food advertising and labeling. According to the report, the current trajectory of regional agricultural growth is unsustainable, owing, among other factors, to the serious consequences it is having on the region’s ecosystems and natural resources.