Latin America: a third of children are overweight, a situation worsened by the pandemic

“In recent years, more and more children and adolescents are overweight in Latin America and the Caribbean,” UNICEF said in a statement.

“Currently, it is estimated that at least 3 out of 10 children” between the ages of 5 and 19 “live overweight in the region,” added Unicef, based in Panama for Latin America and the Caribbean.

According to this United Nations agency, the causes of childhood obesity are produced by the lack of physical activity and the consumption of ultra-processed foods and sugary drinks, which are easily accessible, low-cost and highly promoted in the mass media.

UNICEF also warns that during the pandemic the problem has intensified with limited access to healthy food and lower purchasing power.

“During this year and a half of pandemic, it has been much more difficult for families to eat healthy. Mothers and fathers lost their income and food prices rose, ”said Jean Gough, Unicef ​​director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

“In addition, with the closure of schools, many boys and girls stopped receiving school meals and the options and spaces for physical activity were limited. Before covid-19 preventing obesity was essential and now it is more urgent than ever, “added Gough.

UNICEF urged the countries of the region to strengthen and implement laws and regulatory frameworks to guarantee the quality of food in homes and schools.

He also asked to encourage the recovery of school feeding programs, access to healthier food for families and promote more spaces and initiatives for physical activity.

“The context of covid-19 represents a window of opportunity to prevent overweight from early childhood and for life. Today it is possible for every boy and girl in Latin America and the Caribbean to grow up with healthy food, but only if we join forces, “said Gough.

“In recent years, more and more children and adolescents are overweight in Latin America and the Caribbean,” UNICEF said in a statement.

“Currently, it is estimated that at least 3 out of 10 children” between the ages of 5 and 19 “live overweight in the region,” added Unicef, based in Panama for Latin America and the Caribbean.

According to this United Nations agency, the causes of childhood obesity are produced by the lack of physical activity and the consumption of ultra-processed foods and sugary drinks, which are easily accessible, low-cost and highly promoted in the mass media.

UNICEF also warns that during the pandemic the problem has intensified with limited access to healthy food and lower purchasing power.

“During this year and a half of pandemic, it has been much more difficult for families to eat healthy. Mothers and fathers lost their income and food prices rose, ”said Jean Gough, Unicef ​​director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

“In addition, with the closure of schools, many boys and girls stopped receiving school meals and the options and spaces for physical activity were limited. Before covid-19 preventing obesity was essential and now it is more urgent than ever, “added Gough.

UNICEF urged the countries of the region to strengthen and implement laws and regulatory frameworks to guarantee the quality of food in homes and schools.

He also asked to encourage the recovery of school feeding programs, access to healthier food for families and promote more spaces and initiatives for physical activity.

“The context of covid-19 represents a window of opportunity to prevent overweight from early childhood and for life. Today it is possible for every boy and girl in Latin America and the Caribbean to grow up with healthy food, but only if we join forces, “said Gough.

“In recent years, more and more children and adolescents are overweight in Latin America and the Caribbean,” UNICEF said in a statement.

“Currently, it is estimated that at least 3 out of 10 children” between the ages of 5 and 19 “live overweight in the region,” added Unicef, based in Panama for Latin America and the Caribbean.

According to this United Nations agency, the causes of childhood obesity are produced by the lack of physical activity and the consumption of ultra-processed foods and sugary drinks, which are easily accessible, low-cost and highly promoted in the mass media.

UNICEF also warns that during the pandemic the problem has intensified with limited access to healthy food and lower purchasing power.

“During this year and a half of pandemic, it has been much more difficult for families to eat healthy. Mothers and fathers lost their income and food prices rose, ”said Jean Gough, Unicef ​​director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

“In addition, with the closure of schools, many boys and girls stopped receiving school meals and the options and spaces for physical activity were limited. Before covid-19 preventing obesity was essential and now it is more urgent than ever, “added Gough.

UNICEF urged the countries of the region to strengthen and implement laws and regulatory frameworks to guarantee the quality of food in homes and schools.

He also asked to encourage the recovery of school feeding programs, access to healthier food for families and promote more spaces and initiatives for physical activity.

“The context of covid-19 represents a window of opportunity to prevent overweight from early childhood and for life. Today it is possible for every boy and girl in Latin America and the Caribbean to grow up with healthy food, but only if we join forces, “said Gough.

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