Consumption of highly processed foods has increased across Latin America during the past few years.
According to Jean-Claude Moubarac, a researcher from the Department of Nutrition at the University of Montreal, despite the sale of highly-processed products dropping by nine percent between 2000 and 2013 in the U.S., sales continue to rise in Latin America.
“There is a saturation of these types of products on offer in the market in Canada and the U.S.,” Moubarac commented.
The U.S. led sales of processed foods in 2013 at 308 kilograms per person, followed by 90.2 kilos purchased in Colombia and only 6.7 kilos in India.
Mexico, Chile and Argentina have a “higher obesity rate,” due to increased sales of processed food.
Consumption is also on the up “in countries such as Peru and Bolivia where people still cook and eat at home.”
Iván Escobar, President of Colombia’s Obesity Foundation (Funcodes), noted that “In Colombia we have more issues with people who are overweight rather than obese.”
A 2010 survey found that 51.2 percent of the Colombian population is overweight or obese, up 46 percent from five years previous.
From this total, around 16 to 17 percent are registered as obese, whereas 32 to 33 percent are overweight.
The totals are lower than the average in Latin America, at around 65 percent.
Tipping the scales
Yet, a study into 2014 world obesity rates by the World Health Organization found that Argentina is the fattest Latin American nation.
Approximately 63.9 percent of Argentines were reported as being overweight.
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