Between October 31 and November 4, the Nurture the Future project teams in Brazil, Colombia and Peru participated virtually in the XIX Latin American Congress on Nutrition (SLAN 2021), which had as its theme the promotion of health through healthy eating habits. During the five-day event, scientific proposals were presented on topics such as nutrition and public health in Latin America, nutrition in the prevention and treatment of diseases, and food culture and nutrition education.
Presentations on tackling the multiple burden of malnutrition in schoolchildren, particularly overweight and obesity, which are the priority themes of the Nurture the Future project, confirmed that, in recent decades, Latin America and the Caribbean have shown significant progress in reducing child malnutrition. At the same time, there was a significant increase in overweight and obesity in children and adults in the region. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic represented one of the greatest public health challenges of this century, increasing food and nutritional insecurity in the region and, consequently, the rates of malnutrition, overweight and obesity.
The UN agencies present at the event – WFP, FAO, PAHO/WHO and UNICEF – discusses proposals that could be adopted by countries to mitigate these effects on the nutrition of their populations by maintaining the commitment and financing of public policies and building stronger national food systems, in addition to strengthening coordination and multi-sector mechanisms. The event brought together more than two thousand experts from different areas of health and nutrition in discussions about nutrition in the prevention and treatment of diseases and the challenges of nutrition and public health in Latin America.
The Nurture the Future project, a joint initiative by the WFP Centre of Excellence, the Ministry of Health and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency, supports initiatives such as these for the exchange of knowledge between countries to strengthen national public institutions and their nutrition and health sectors. Learn more about the project here.