Brazil became the first country to make commitments as part of the United Nations (UN) Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016–2025.
Brazil’s 3 commitments, to be achieved by 2019, are as follows:
• Stop the growth in the adult obesity rate (which currently stands at 20.8%)
• Reduce by at least 30% consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among adults
• Increase by at least 17.8% the proportion of adults who regularly eat fruit and vegetables
Brazil outlined specific policy measures it will take to achieve these goals. These include fiscal measures (tax reductions, subsidies) to reduce the price of fresh foods, microcredit loans to family farmers, and cash transfers to poor families so that they can buy fresh produce.
The government also committed to providing healthier meals and nutrition education to children in public schools, and increasing public procurement of foods from family farmers. They will develop and distribute new educational materials on healthy diet for the population, teachers and health workers.
They will reduce the amount of salt and sugars in processed foods, and revise regulations on food labelling so that added sugars are declared on the front of the pack. They will regulate the promotion of food and drinks targeting children, and restrict sales and advertisement of processed food in health and education facilities and public agencies.
They will increase breastfeeding promotion through the country’s primary health care clinics, increase the number of physical activity facilities, and improve access to care for people who are overweight or obese.
Currently, noncommunicable diseases are the cause of more than 70% of deaths in Brazil. Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers.
In April 2016, the UN General As-sembly proclaimed 2016–2025 the Decade of Action on Nutrition. Led by WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Nutrition Decade is a framework for making commitments, tracking progress, and ensuring mutual accountability in line with global nutrition targets.