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05-08-2018 | Obesity | Review | Article

Obesity Prevention: Strategies and Challenges in Latin America

Journal:
Current Obesity Reports

Authors: Louise Cominato, Georgia Finardi Di Biagio, Denise Lellis, Ruth Rocha Franco, Marcio Correa Mancini, Maria Edna de Melo

Publisher: Springer US

Abstract

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.

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