Challenges to food safety for children and adolescents in Brazil

Published:January 13, 2022DOI:


      • 1.4 million Brazilian children and adolescents assisted in primary care are obese.
      • Child malnutrition was present in most population groups in Brazil.
      • Brazil is experiencing at least two epidemics (obesity and malnutrition), within a pandemic (COVID-19).


      Malnutrition increases the chance of cognitive delay, recurrent infections, micro and macronutrient deficiencies, stigmatization. According to the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics (Sociedade Brasileira de Pediatria), more than half (58%) of Brazilian families with children and adolescents reported changes in eating habits in the same period. For 31%, there was an increase in consumption of processed foods such as chocolate, filled cookies, instant noodles, and canned foods. Therefore, despite food security being a human right contemplated in article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and reiterated by article 6 of the Brazilian Federal Constitution in 2010, the country still has a long way to go. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a deepening of poverty, misery, and hunger in the country, which directly reflected on the income of families and placed children/adolescents in a situation of extreme vulnerability.
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