FAO warns about the consumption of ultra-processed foods in the region
22 diciembre 2017


Health. Through the report “Reflections on the food system and prospects for achieving sustainability in Latin America and the Caribbean,” the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations noted that “in the region there is a large presence of ultra-processed foods, as well as an invasive advertising that does not contemplate the risks to health”.

In the document, FAO explained that “the sales of ultra-processed products increased by 48% in the region between the year 2000 and 2013, which means around 16% of total food sales and an annual growth of 3.1%, above 2.8%, which corresponds to the world average”. At the same time, FAO stated that Latin America is the fourth region in the world that maintains a greater retail sale of ultraprocessed products, with 129.6 kilos per capita per year.

“This context configures a largely obesogenic environment, which imposes great difficulties to consume fresh and healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains,” says the FAO.

In addition, FAO proposed to countries to move towards sustainable food systems through the application of phytosanitary standards, food safety and quality, the implementation of good production and marketing practices, the management of food losses and wastes, as well as the promotion of use of alternative energies, improving the relationship between the energy input and the units of food produced. The organization also urged governments to assume the political commitment to encourage the consumption of healthy and healthy foods and strengthen school feeding.

Next steps

On January 12, in Mexico City, FAO will hold the event “Empowerment of indigenous women for the eradication of hunger and malnutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean,” which will bring together public officials and legislators from 12 countries in the region, as well as representatives of international organizations. The event aims to draft recommendations of public policies on malnutrition, poverty and food systems of indigenous communities, among others.

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