The director of UNICEF’s child development nutrition programs in Yucatan, Victor Aguayo pointed out that it is necessary to make a front for the elimination of bottled soft drinks in schools and government spaces, as a way to combat nutrition problems such as overweight and obesity.
He explained that, although Mexico has made enormous progress in reducing child malnutrition and Yucatan has been at the forefront in the fight against malnutrition, the issue of obesity and overweight is something that should not be left behind.
He explained that we still see the consumption of bottled soft drinks with high levels of sugars by children, being the schools where they are put on sale and in many cases even in the same schools, with the parents themselves.
“Bottled soft drinks have to gradually disappear from the horizon of our lives, in the same way that tobacco has been disappearing from the horizon of our lives, very few people can be seen in an official government space smoking, when 20 years ago it was normal, so it means that these rules can be changing,” he shared.
He explained that it is time to generate new environments in schools so that children and young people understand that processed and unhealthy foods should be eradicated, and are not an option for their nutritional wellbeing.
Likewise, he emphasized that the problem of obesity and overweight is a problem throughout the peninsula, however, where it is most evident is in Yucatan, but it is the only one that has recognized the problem and has been determined to provide a solution.
“One of the things they have started to do is to favor nutrition during the first thousand days of life, creating food environments that favor nutrition, eradicating unhealthy foods,” he said.
He explained that, in general, labeling policies and policies to protect children against ultra-processed food advertising are beginning to give good results, in Mexico and in other countries, because the population is becoming aware that such a product is harmful to my health.
“The cost of a healthy diet in some families can not be given, and is where the government must take an important role to ensure that these younger families can have access to nutritional foods,” he concluded.
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