Peru and PAHO hold event to promote healthy school feeding with the presence of multiple countries in the region
11 noviembre 2021


School Feeding. On November 11, the Ministry of Health (Minsa in Spanish) of Peru, together with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), held an international congress with the aim of exchanging experiences on the promotion of healthy school feeding. With the participation of representatives from Chile, Uruguay, Colombia and El Salvador, the parties shared regulatory experiences on the promotion of healthy nutrition environments for minors, arguing that it is necessary to promote the reduction of obesity in schools through specific and comprehensive regulations that regulate the advertising and consumption of high-calorie foods. The Peruvian Ministry of Health would promote further meetings to continue sharing experiences in this area in the medium term.

At the event, the PAHO/WHO regional advisor on Food, Nutrition and Physical Activity in Schools, Leo Nederveen, stressed the importance of following the recommendations of the document entitled “Action Plan for the Prevention of Obesity in Children and Adolescents“, issued by the international organization regarding the incentive to reduce the consumption of high-calorie and low-nutritional content products, in addition to the improvement of school food environments and physical activity in the region. The advisor also said that countries should develop public policies that contribute to limiting sugar intake and eliminating industrially produced trans fats from foods.

With respect to the guests from Latin American countries, the contribution of Paulina Sazo Cooper from Chile, who is part of the Ministry of Education, was particularly noteworthy. She indicated that the country’s healthy eating policies are regulated by Law No. 20,606 on Nutritional Composition of Food and Advertising. He pointed out that this law is used as a framework law given the incorporation of front labeling of high-calorie foods and the prohibition of their commercialization and promotion in schools.

In this regard, Alexandro Saco Valdivia, as director of the Health Promotion area of the Peruvian Ministry of Health, pointed out that a healthy food environment in an educational institution should include the supervision and control of the marketing and advertising of food products, and called for the control of the increase in overweight and obesity correlated to the sedentary lifestyle that has been incurred due to the isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Next Steps

The Peruvian Ministry of Health, together with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), announced that in the medium term they will hold another event in which they will invite specialists in healthy eating in school environments from more countries in the region to participate. It is also expected that the event will contribute to obtain information and guidelines so that the representatives of the different participating countries can promote initiatives in their territories in the medium term, especially in terms of labeling and advertising in school environments.

Engagement opportunity: McDonald’s can be linked to these spaces as a contributor of ideas and strategies to promote healthy eating habits in different environments.

These spaces are also key to connect and ally with actors from other sectors (private, public, third sector) to devise healthy plans and campaigns together.