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Food systems and COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean N° 10: Food consumption patterns and malnutrition

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Food systems and COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean N° 10: Food consumption patterns and malnutrition

Autor institucional: NU. CEPAL-FAO Physical Description: 22 p. Editorial: CEPAL, FAO Date: July 2020

Description

The COVID-19 pandemic points out some changes in the consumption patterns of the population. It appears that consumers have tended to prefer less nutritious, less fresh and more economical diets. Such a decision could be explained by a significant decrease in household income and the mobility restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

We know that poor nutrition implies a higher risk of disease. In Latin America and the Caribbean, we have recently seen alarming figures of malnutrition due to overweight, obesity and undernutrition. This is an even more serious public health issue in times of pandemic, since COVID-19, according to available evidence, is especially dangerous for overweight and obese people.

Healthy eating minimises the risk of disease. That hasn't changed during the pandemic. Governments' initiatives must, therefore, aim at a healthier diet, ensuring access to fresh and nutritious products for people, promoting communication campaigns that value healthy eating and, finally, facilitating the marketing of fresh and quality products produced locally by small and medium producers.