Obesity in Latin America

Obesity in Latin America

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.

 

Figure 1

Latin American Affairs Chart

 

Last updated January 2015.