Latin America has experienced epidemiologic and nutritional transitions that have contributed to the high rates of overweight and obesity (Figure 1). By some estimates, more than 50% of males and 60% of females will be overweight or obese by 2030. Children are not spared, for those ages 5 – 11 the prevalence of overweight and obesity with the WHO 2007 classification method ranged from 18.9% to 36.9% and from 16.6% to 35.8% in adolescents (12–19 years).
Most Latin American countries are experiencing epidemiologic and nutrition transitions. The epidemiologic transition is characterized by a shift from high infectious disease morbidity and mortality to the preponderance of non-communicable chronic diseases (NCCD); the nutrition transition by a shift from high prevalence of under-nutrition to predominance of diet-related NCCD like obesity.
Latin America displays high rates of overweight and obesity. Figure 1 shows the prevalence of overweight and obesity in adults from nationally representative surveys or population based studies.
Last updated January 2015.