PAHO urges countries in the region to promote salt consumption reduction to prevent noncommunicable diseases in young people
29 septiembre 2023


Healthy eating. The 60th meeting of the Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) was held from September 25 to 29. The meetings were attended by the highest health authorities of the Americas. At the event, a resolution was unanimously approved that endorses the Policy for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases in Young People. The resolution urges the region to implement measures to reduce salt consumption and promote “healthy” school environments, among other aspects. It was also agreed that PAHO will make periodic reports on the progress of implementation of the policy, delivering a preliminary one in 2027 and a final one in 2031.

Among the lines of action, the application of a package of cost-effective public policies known as “best investments” is encouraged, including the reduction of salt, elimination of trans fats, nutritional labeling on the front of packages, improvement of school environments with respect to food and physical activity, promoting healthy foods with low fat, sugar and salt, among others.

The Ministers of Health of Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Ecuador, Jamaica, the Vice Minister of Health of Honduras and representatives from Argentina, Canada, El Salvador, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Colombia, Costa Rica, United Kingdom, Chile, Uruguay, Bahamas, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Lucia participated in the debate in the plenary session of the Directing Council. All of them spoke in favor of the resolution and the policy. 

Next steps

This policy will serve as a guide for governments and congresses in Latin America and the Caribbean to establish new regulations to prevent noncommunicable diseases in children and adolescents. In addition, the implementation of this policy in the region will be monitored: PAHO will report periodically on its progress as well as obstacles to its implementation in a mid-term report in 2027 and a final report in 2031.