Although the upward trend stopped in the last period, with a reduction of 0.5 percentage points, hunger levels in the region continue above the 2019 figures prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the prevalence is still 0.9 percentage points above 2019.
“The hunger figures in our region continue to be worrying. We see how we are moving further and further away from fulfilling the 2030 agenda and we have not yet managed to improve the figures prior to the crisis unleashed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Our region has persistent challenges such as inequalitythe poverty and the climate changewhich have reversed at least 13 years the progress in fight against hunger. This scenario forces us to work together and act as soon as possible,” he said. Mario Lubetkindeputy director general and regional representative of FAO for Latin America and the Caribbean.
In it Caribbean 7.2 million people experienced hunger in 2022, with a prevalence of 16.3%. Compared to 2021, this number increased by 700,000, and between 2019 and 2022, the increase was one million people, with the highest prevalence being in Haiti.
In South America, there are 6 million additional undernourished people between 2021 and 2022 compared to the scenario before the COVID-19 pandemic. But The number of people suffering from hunger was reduced by 3.5 million.
In Mesoamerica, 9.1 million people suffered from hunger in 2022, implying a prevalence of 5.1%. This figure does not account for any significant variation with respect to the previous measurement.
Overweight and obesity: in the last 50 years they have tripled
The report Outlook 2023 warned that Overweight and obesity rates have tripled in the last 50 years., affecting 62.5% of the population in the region. In this context, it is stated that 8.6% of children under five years of age are overweight.
“Overweight and obesity are a growing challenge, responsible for approximately 2.8 million deaths due to non-communicable diseases in 2021 in the Americas,” said the Jarbas Barbosadirector of PAHO.
In that sense, Barbosa considered that the regional prevalence of overweight in children and adolescents is “worrying”, which stands at 33.6%, higher than the world average. “It is urgent to advance in the food systems transformation to guarantee healthy eating for everyone,” he highlighted.