Healthy Eating. The IV Congress of the Presidents of the Health Committees of the Parliaments of the Americas concluded August 22nd. The meeting, which took place in Montevideo (Uruguay), was attended by legislators from the Health Committees of the Latin American Congresses. In this Congress, sponsored by World Health Organization and Pan American Health Organization, it was agreed that the Legislative branches will work for the rest of the year and in 2019 to draft legislation to reduce the impact of NCDs by discouraging the consumption of unhealthy foods through measures such as clear front labeling -similar to tobacco- and the establishment of taxes on sugar sweetened beverages and HFSS food.
At the event, countries shared regulatory experiences. In summary, the parliamentarians concluded that unhealthy eating and physical inactivity lead to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, cancer and diabetes. Based on this diagnosis, the legislators said that it is necessary to agree on homogeneous legislation in all the countries of the region, as is the case with tobacco.
Based on experiences with health regulations, legislators from all countries in the region will develop a roadmap to discourage fast food consumption over the next two years in their Congresses. In this regard, Chilean Sen. Guido Girardi (Nueva Mayoría – Opposition) stressed that his party will promote a Framework Law against Junk Food in order to “confront the major culprit in the obesity epidemic, which is the main health challenge facing humanity”.