Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Nutrition status of children in Latin America

TitleNutrition status of children in Latin America
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsCorvalán, C, Garmendia, ML, Jones-Smith, J, Lutter, CK, Miranda, JJ, Pedraza, LS, Popkin, BM, Ramirez-Zea, M, Salvo, D, Stein, AD
JournalObesity Reviews
Type of ArticleArticle
KeywordsChildhood obesity, children, Latin America, nutrition and physical activity situation

The prevalence of overweight and obesity is rapidly increasing among Latin American children, posing challenges for current healthcare systems and increasing the risk for a wide range of diseases. To understand the factors contributing to childhood obesity in Latin America, this paper reviews the current nutrition status and physical activity situation, the disparities between and within countries and the potential challenges for ensuring adequate nutrition and physical activity. Across the region, children face a dual burden of undernutrition and excess weight. While efforts to address undernutrition have made marked improvements, childhood obesity is on the rise as a result of diets that favour energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods and the adoption of a sedentary lifestyle. Over the last decade, changes in socioeconomic conditions, urbanization, retail foods and public transportation have all contributed to childhood obesity in the region. Additional research and research capacity are needed to address this growing epidemic, particularly with respect to designing, implementing and evaluating the impact of evidence-based obesity prevention interventions. © 2017 The Authors. Obesity Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of World Obesity