Brazil launches national campaign to combat childhood obesity

Published August 11, 2021, 10:51 AM

by Xinhua

BRASILIA — Brazil’s Ministry of Health on Tuesday launched a nationwide campaign to combat childhood obesity by promoting healthy eating habits and physical activities among children and adolescents.

The newly-appointed Brazilian Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga speaks in a press conference in Brasilia, Brazil, March 16, 2021. XINHUA/ MANILA BULLETIN

The 2021 Campaign for the Prevention and Care of Childhood Obesity aims to increase the consumption of natural foods and reduce the consumption of highly processed foods, Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga said at the launching ceremony.

The campaign also highlights the importance of physical activity from the first years of life, whether through games, recreational activities or sports, warning about the large amount of time children and adolescents spend in front of screens.

As part of the campaign, an economic incentive will be provided to cities, where more than 15 percent of those under the age of 10 were overweight in 2019, to implement food and nutrition monitoring initiatives to map the state of children and adolescents, and promote exercise and healthy eating.

So far, 7 percent of Brazilian children under the age of 5 are overweight and 3 percent are obese, while 31.9 percent of adolescents are overweight and 12 percent are obese, according to the ministry.