Halting The Increase Of Childhood Obesity In Argentina: Nutrition For Health And Social Care

Obesity in children under five years of age has been on the rise worldwide since 1990. Approximately 10% of children in Argentina are obese. If this trend were to continue, the WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development expects that children obesity will rise from 10% (2012) to 14% by 2025.

This trend is specially alarming since childhood obesity is at the core of a myriad of severe health issues like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, asthma as well as psychological issues like depression and low self-esteem.

Additionally, the majority of obese children grow up to become obese adults, which is intimately associated with the aforementioned health issues that ultimately cause considerable financial burden on health-care systems.

In hopes of reducing this trend the World Health Assembly passed a resolution that supports global nutrition targets for 2025 (2) related to “Comprehensive implementation plan for maternal, infant and young child nutrition” (1). One of its targets is to prevent the incidence increase of childhood obesity. This policy brief aims to elaborate on strategies to help achieve the goal of stopping childhood obesity rates from increasing in Argentina, which aligns with the global nutrition targets delineated by the World Health Assembly.

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Addressing childhood obesity in Argentina will bring short term as well as long term rewards. By investing in the health of children the future financial load on taxed health systems will be reduced, enabling these resources to be channeled for the growth of a healthier population.

Childhood obesity is a complex issue that requires a comprehensive plan in order to change and eradicate poor dietary and physical activity patterns.

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Childhood is a pivotal period in which long-term habits are created and therefore it is the optimal time for enacting changes that will prevent obesity.

Halting the increase of childhood obesity in Argentina will require implementing nation-wide population and community-based measures. Government funding and leadership and the participation of different sectors and stakeholders will allow these policies to be effective and sustainable (5).

Exposures that affect nutritional patterns can be intervened at the earliest stages of life. Education about exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life and continued until two years of age is an effective way to improve the health of infants. Health providers/workers should provide education. Corporations, retailers and employers should provide breastfeeding friendly environments as well as paid maternity leave opportunities.

National and local government services should set and enforce trackable nutritional guidelines for meals that are consumed inside school premises and daycares. Meals should be coordinated alongside nutrition experts to ensure they are healthy.

NGO’s could work within local communities to provide educational materials regarding healthy diet (6) that conform to multiple literacy levels, ensuring their accessibility.

National and local governments should partner with local communities in order to provide drinking water in areas that are highly frequented by children such as schools, play areas, parks and hospitals.

National and local government taxation authority, contracting and purchasing departments of national and local public catering service providers should implement regulatory instruments such as food labelling policies and economic disincentives such as higher sales taxes of unhealthy foods.

In order to reduce childhood obesity and successfully implement policies the government will have to use their capacities to ensure cohesion and coordination across sectors. At the community level, families need to be educated and supported with proper public food supplies. Actors with commercial interests that are contributing factors to the increasing obesity incidence in Argentina need to be supervised and controlled.

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Halting The Increase Of Childhood Obesity In Argentina: Nutrition For Health And Social Care. (2022, Jun 25). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/halting-the-increase-of-childhood-obesity-in-argentina-nutrition-for-health-and-social-care-essay

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