FAO and PAHO warn that hunger has increased in six countries and now affects 2.4 million persons in the region. While overweight continues to be a public health problem across the Americas.

The total number of persons that suffer from hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean has increased, reversing decades of progress.

Meanwhile, overweight affects all age groups in men and women and constitutes a major health problem in all countries in the region of the Americas.

According to the Panorama of Food Security and Nutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean 2017, published by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO).

In 2016, approximately 42.5 million persons did not have enough food for their daily caloric needs. This is an increase of 2.4 million persons, 6% more of the undernourished population than the year before. If this trend does not change “it will be very difficult for the region to reach Sustainable Development Goal 2 on eradicating hunger and malnutrition by 2030”, said Julio BerdeguĂ©, FAO Regional Representative.

Hunger levels remain low in Latin America and the Caribbean in comparison to the rest of the world, there are signs that the situation is getting worse, especially in South America, where hunger grew from 5% in 2015 to 5.6% in 2016. In Mesoamerica, hunger affected 6.5% of the population in 2016. Although hunger has not increased in the Caribbean, its prevalence is at 17.7%, making it the sub-region with the greatest prevalence.

Hunger increased in six countries and fell in twenty-one.

An absolute number of people suffering from hunger has increased.

In Haiti, 47% of the population, that is approximately 5 million people, suffer from hunger. This number represents almost two-thirds of all undernourishment across countries of the Caribbean.

In Brazil, Cuba, and Uruguay, the prevalence of undernourishment is less than 2.5%, while in Argentina, Barbados, Chile, Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago it is below 5%.

Overweight and obesity continue to affect everyone

Overweight and obesity affect all age groups in men and women, and is a public health problem in all countries of the Americas, as pointed out in the Panorama of Food Security and Nutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean 2017.

The Panorama of Food Security and Nutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean 2017 reports on the progress of countries in the region in meeting the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), for the first time since the approval of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. It also gives policymakers the information they need to propose and advance policies and programmes that help to fight against hunger, chronic malnutrition and to stop the rapid spread of the obesity epidemic.

Work citation: http://www.fao.org/americas/noticias/ver/en/c/1042843/