The shift from malnutrition to obesity in developing countries

In the past months people from South Group did a small pilot study on underweight, overweight and obesity in a school in Cochabamba. It was surprising to see that over 50% of the kids had overweight or were obese. less than 5% was underweight. The group analyzed was between 4 and 7 years.

Although the main goal of the pilot was to just see the practical aspects of such a study and the sub objective was to get an idea on the situation, these results cannot be ignored and show that the situation in Bolivia, considered a developing country is shifting from malnourished kids with underweight to an equal dangerous problem called obesity and overweight.

What also was surprised was that 45% of the kids go to school without having had a breakfast. Furthermore 62% of the children consume cookies, or a sausage with fries for their mid morning break.

We are still working out details to scale up this research to get more accurate number and more information on this shift. What do you think? Is this really a change? What can be done about it?

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