On Wednesday, June 2nd, an online event brought together experts, local government officials and experts from the WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger Brazil to discuss childhood obesity and present solutions in the context of healthy cities. The event was organized by the WFP Centre of Excellence, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, through the General Coordination of Food and Nutrition of the Department of Health Promotion, and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC), and was part of the actions around the Childhood Morbid Obesity Awareness Day, on June 3rd. The event was broadcast live on the WFP Centre of Excellence’s YouTube channel and has already had about a thousand views. The event also marked the pre-launch of the Policy Brief “Child Obesity – strategies for prevention and care (at the local level)”, which can be downloaded here.
During the opening of the event, Daniel Balaban, WFP Representative in Brazil and Director of the Centre of Excellence against Hunger, highlighted some of the alarming data on childhood obesity: it is estimated that 42 million children are overweight in the world, in a proportion 1 in 5 children. He also spoke about the nutritional deficit that is often accompanied by obesity. Juliana Resende, Director of the Department of Health Promotion of the Secretariat of Primary Health Care of the Ministry of Health in Brazil, and Plínio Pereira, Project Analyst at the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC), also participated in the opening section.
As part of the programme, Albaneide Peixinho, Project Coordinator at the WFP Centre of Excellence, presented the publication “Child Obesity – strategies for prevention and care (at the local level)”, which compiles information to contribute to the development of strategies by local authorities (municipal and state managers) for the prevention and care of childhood obesity. The document is made up of six objective questions and answers to facilitate understanding of such an important topic that can change the reality of the municipality. The publication was made in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC).
Throughout the event, the public watched presentations by researchers and managers on proposals, at the local level, for combating childhood obesity. Ricardo Brandão, Coordinator of the Active Life Laboratory and Coordinator of the Postgraduate Programme in Exercise and Sport Sciences at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, spoke about the reasons for investing in Healthy Cities to prevent and stop the spread of childhood obesity. Then, Gisele Bortolini, General Coordinator of Food and Nutrition at the Ministry of Health, spoke about the actions to promote adequate and healthy eating in the context of Healthy Cities.
After that, Dalila Tusset, a social policy analyst working at the Ministry of Health, spoke about actions to promote physical activities in the context of Healthy Cities. The audience also watched a presentation by Carla Albert, Supervisor of the Technical Health Area at the National Confederation of Municipalities, who spoke about how to mobilize managers to engage in opportunities for the prevention and care of childhood obesity in the context of Healthy Cities.