What is the relationship between agriculture and obesity?

Healthy eating is key to curbing obesity

France shares the definition recommended by the Committee on World Food Security in September 2012: “Food and nutritional security exists when all people at all times have physical, social and economic access to safe food, whose consumption is sufficient in terms of quantity and quality to meet their dietary needs and preferences, and is supported by a framework of sanitation, health services and adequate care that enables them to lead an active and healthy life”.

The situation described by SOFI is serious: exposure to more complex, more frequent and more intense extreme weather events could erode the gains made in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. In addition, climate change has a negative impact on the nutrition of vulnerable populations: it lowers nutrient quality and food diversity, has effects on water and sanitation, and carries health risks, among other things.

School Feeding as an Educational Strategy for a Healthy Childhood

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Except in Haiti (38.5%), Paraguay (48.5%) and Nicaragua (49.4%), overweight affects more than half of the population in all countries of the region, with Chile (63%), Mexico (64%) and the Bahamas (69%) having the highest rates.

Obesity affects 140 million people, 23% of the regional population, and the highest prevalences can all be observed in Caribbean countries: Bahamas (36.2%) Barbados (31.3%), Trinidad and Tobago (31.1%) and Antigua and Barbuda (30.9%).

Rural poverty and food security in Latin America

Rising obesity rates are in the news and there is greater recognition of the important role of agriculture and food systems in this epidemic. As agricultural economists with an interest in human nutrition, we wanted to find out how this all intertwines, to understand how agriculture and food systems are part of the problem and part of the solution. While conducting research for a recent report, a few facts caught our attention.

While obesity is sometimes thought of as simply a situation in which a person consumes more energy than he or she expends, the true causes are very complex and there are countless factors that directly or indirectly affect this energy balance. For example, the obesity system map created by the UK Government’s Foresight program (PDF) identifies 108 different factors in 7 sets, such as physiology, physical activity of the individual, physical activity environment and social psychology. These factors directly and indirectly affect the basic equation of energy balance or energy intake versus energy expenditure.

NEW FOOD SECURITY CHALLENGES. TABLE

ARTICLE 2. SCOPE OF APPLICATION. The determinations established in this law shall be applicable to the State Entities and Organizations at the national and territorial level responsible for promoting healthy environments, physical activity, education, production and distribution of food; as well as to the entities in charge of providing and guaranteeing health services and the transportation, planning and road safety sectors. The beneficiaries of this law shall be the Colombian population, especially vulnerable groups.

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ARTICLE 4. STRATEGIES TO PROMOTE A BALANCED AND HEALTHY FOOD. The different sectors of society shall promote a balanced and healthy diet in the Colombian population, through the following actions:

– The National Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, shall establish mechanisms to promote the production and marketing of fruits and vegetables, with the participation of territorial entities, private enterprise and agricultural production guilds.