Unicef ​​and Inter-American Heart Foundation-Argentina (FIC Argentina) today released a report entitled “Food situation of children and adolescents in Argentina” which indicates that children and adolescents consume only a fifth of the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, while ultra-processed foods represent 35% of their daily caloric intake.

The study also shows that children from the lowest socioeconomic level are 58% more likely to be overnourished, which is the cause of overweight, obesity or diet-related non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.. “Argentina is characterized by a situation of double burden of malnutrition: while malnutrition due to deficit persists, there is also malnutrition due to excess”, said Luciana Castronuovocoordinator of the research area of FIC Argentina. The main cause is “an inadequate consumption pattern characterized by a high consumption of ultra-processed foods”, favored by the characteristics of the food system and “an unhealthy environment”.

Ultra-processed foods are industrial formulations mainly based on substances extracted or derived from food, as well as additives such as preservatives, texturizers, flavorings, or flavorings. These products are high in sugar, fat and sodium, combined with a low content of protein, dietary fiber, minerals and vitamins.