Pan American Health Organization

Chapter 3 Additional World Health Assembly nutrition indicators

Key messages
  • In 2016, obesity affected almost a quarter (24.2 percent) of the region’s adult population, well above the world average of 13.1 percent. Between 2000 and 2016, significant increases were seen in the three subregions, with the Caribbean increasing at the fastest rate and reaching a prevalence of 24.7 percent. In Mesoamerica the prevalence is 27.3 percent and in South America it is 23 percent.
  • The regional rate of exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life is 33.4 percent and is well below the world average of 44 percent and the SDG target of 70 percent. It is important to note that Mesoamerica made important progress in this indicator between 2012 and 2019, raising the rate by 11.6 percentage points reaching 33.2 percent in 2016.
  • In Latin America and the Caribbean in 2015, the prevalence of low birthweight was 8.7 percent and did not vary much between 2000 and 2015. Although this means that there has been no progress with respect to the World Health Assembly’s (WHA) target of reducing low birthweight by 30 percent, it is important to point out that the regional average is well below the world average of 14.6 percent.