In an initiative launched by Inter-American development Bank on Wednesday areas such as Peru, Mexico, Guatemala, and Colombia will receive aid and assistance in reducing the risks of both, obesity and malnutrition for the children aged fewer than five. These areas are considered to be some of the disadvantaged areas. The IDB President, Luis Alberto Monreno affirmed this point saying, the program “Spoon” has been designed to prevent undernutrition and reduce the chances of children suffering from obesity issues at the same time.
He further stated, dealing with obesity is not an effort rooted in vanity, but rather a grave health issue that impacts the region’s economic development negatively. The challenge of obesity is adding to the complication of Latin America’s health sector which already has to deal with many contagious diseases.
The figures revealed by IDB suggest, there are at least four million children in Latin America, below the age of five suffering from borderline obesity or obesity. If this is to continue, the problem of obesity is likely to result in 50% population being obese by 2030.
The figures also point out that about 18% of Peru’s population is malnourished and the figure is expected to reach 38% in the poorest of poor regions. In case of Guatemala, the figure is a shocking 70%.
Spoon is an attempt at making collective efforts in collaboration with IDB, regional governments, and the private sector to fight this food challenge. The biggest funder for this program is Pepsico Foundation, which has promised a donation of USD 5 million to develop a strategy for an imperative behavioral change to encourage parents to adopt healthy lifestyles.