Dr. Olivia Barata, director of health systems and professional training of the World Obesity Federation, told Efe what are the specific aspects that determine this problem in the region.
The increase in unhealthy food intake, inaccessibility to healthy foods, urbanization, and the entry of women into the labor market are some of these factors. Modernization in food (appearance of supermarkets and processed food), lifestyle, and sedentary lifestyle. The decrease in grains such as rice and beans in the region has contributed to an increase in obesity.
The World Obesity Federation surveyed specialists through which data was collected on how health systems work. To know what was happening in the region, they had to know what the health systems of countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru were doing. Of these countries, 25% considered obesity as a disease; 10% treat it as a disease within their health system, and only in 7.1% of these there are prevention and treatment to combat it.
Dr. Barata Cavalcanti highlighted her concern about the fact that the specialists interviewed did not have enough information about the policies that their governments were carrying out on the issue of obesity. In the results of the survey, the specialists interviewed agreed that the main barrier to combat obesity is the lack of education of the population on the subject.