Send to

Choose Destination
Obes Rev. 2017 Jul;18 Suppl 2:7-18. doi: 10.1111/obr.12571.

Nutrition status of children in Latin America.

Author information

Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.
Department of Health Services, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
Pan American Health Organization, USA.
CRONICAS Center of Excellence in Chronic Diseases, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru.
Center for Nutrition and Health Research, National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Mexico.
Carolina Population Center, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
INCAP Research Center for the Prevention of Chronic Diseases (CIIPEC), Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama, Guatemala.
Michael and Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health, Austin Campus, Austin, TX, USA.
Hubert Department of Global Health of the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.


The prevalence of overweight and obesity is rapidly increasing among Latin American children, posing challenges for current healthcare systems and increasing the risk for a wide range of diseases. To understand the factors contributing to childhood obesity in Latin America, this paper reviews the current nutrition status and physical activity situation, the disparities between and within countries and the potential challenges for ensuring adequate nutrition and physical activity. Across the region, children face a dual burden of undernutrition and excess weight. While efforts to address undernutrition have made marked improvements, childhood obesity is on the rise as a result of diets that favour energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods and the adoption of a sedentary lifestyle. Over the last decade, changes in socioeconomic conditions, urbanization, retail foods and public transportation have all contributed to childhood obesity in the region. Additional research and research capacity are needed to address this growing epidemic, particularly with respect to designing, implementing and evaluating the impact of evidence-based obesity prevention interventions.


Latin America; childhood obesity; children; nutrition and physical activity situation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center