Country Nutrition Profiles

Explore the latest data on nutrition at global, regional and country level, with interactive charts that let you see what progress your country has made towards the global nutrition targets.

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Latin America and the Caribbean

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The burden of malnutrition at a glance

In the Latin America and Caribbean region, there has been slight progress towards achieving global nutrition targets. The global target for overweight among children under 5 years of age has 23 countries on course to meet it, wasting among children under 5 years of age has 16 countries on course, stunting among children under 5 years of age has nine countries on course, exclusive breastfeeding among infants aged 0 to 5 months has two countries on course, while anaemia in women of reproductive age (aged 15 to 49 years) has one country on course. However, not a single country in the region is on course to meet the targets for low birth weight, diabetes among men, diabetes among women, obesity among men, and obesity among women. 21 countries in the region have insufficient data to comprehensively assess their progress towards these global targets.

The latest data shows that anaemia affects an estimated 17.2% of women of reproductive age. Some 8.7% of infants have a low weight at birth in the Latin America and Caribbean region. There is insufficient data to provide prevalence rates for exclusive breastfeeding for infants aged 0 to 5 months. Although it performs relatively well against other regions, Latin America and the Caribbean still experiences a malnutrition burden among children aged under 5 years. The average prevalence of overweight is 7.5% - the second highest across all regions. The prevalence of stunting is 11.3%, which is significantly lower than the global average of 22.0%. The Latin America and Caribbean region's prevalence of wasting is 1.3%, which is also lower than the global average of 6.7%.

The Latin America and Caribbean region's adult population also faces a malnutrition burden: an average of 10.6% of adult (aged 18 and over) women live with diabetes, compared to 9.7% of men. Meanwhile, 30.7% of women and 22.8% of men live with obesity.

Progress towards the global nutrition targets

Childhood stunting

Childhood stunting

9 On course

11 Some progress

7 No progress or worsening

6 No data

Anaemia

Anaemia

1 On course

9 Some progress

23 No progress or worsening

Low birth weight

Low birth weight

2 Some progress

24 No progress or worsening

7 No data

Childhood overweight

Childhood overweight

23 On course

4 Off course

6 No data

Exclusive breastfeeding

Exclusive breastfeeding

2 On course

4 Some progress

8 No progress or worsening

19 No data

Childhood wasting

Childhood wasting

16 On course

2 No progress or worsening

15 No data

Sodium intake, women and men

Sodium intake, women and men

32 Off course

1 No data

Raised blood pressure, women

Raised blood pressure, women

7 On course

26 Off course

Raised blood pressure, men

Raised blood pressure, men

1 On course

32 Off course

Obesity, women

Obesity, women

33 Off course

Obesity, men

Obesity, men

33 Off course

Diabetes, women

Diabetes, women

33 Off course

Diabetes, men

Diabetes, men

33 Off course

Source: WHO. Global Health Observatory Data Repository/World Health Statistics. Available at: https://www.who.int/data/gho/data/indicators. Accessed 2 September 2021; UNICEF/WHO. Low birthweight estimates; published online 2019. Available at: https://data.unicef.org/topic/nutrition/low-birthweight. Accessed 24 August 2021; UNICEF. Global databases: Infant and young child feeding; published online July 2020. Available at: http://data.unicef.org/nutrition/iycf. Accessed 24 August 2021; UNICEF/WHO/World Bank. Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates Expanded Database: Stunting, Wasting and Overweight; published online July 2020. Available at: https://data.unicef.org/resources/dataset/malnutrition-data. Accessed 31 August 2021; NCD Risk Factor Collaboration. 2017. Available at: http://ncdrisc.org/data-downloads.html. Accessed 24 August 2021; Tufts University. Global Dietary Database; published online 2019. Available at: https://www.globaldietarydatabase.org/data-download. Accessed 6 September 2021.

Notes: Progress towards the maternal, infant and young child nutrition (MIYCN) and diet-related non-communicable disease (NCD) global nutrition targets is classified as ‘on course’ if the target is met, ‘some progress' or ‘no progress or worsening’. MIYCN targets include anaemia among women of reproductive age (15–49 years), infants with low birthweight, exclusive breastfeeding among infants under 6 months of age, and childhood stunting, wasting and overweight. NCD targets include adult obesity and diabetes, raised blood pressure and sodium intake. Obesity and diabetes are based on age-standardised modelled estimates for adults aged 18 years and older, using the WHO standard population; they are reported by sex due to limitations in data availability. Anaemia and low birthweight are also based on modelled estimates. The specific targets set are: 40% reduction in the number of children under 5 years of age who are stunted; 50% reduction of anaemia in women of reproductive age; 30% reduction in low birth weight; no increase in childhood overweight; increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months to at least 50%; reduce and maintain childhood wasting to less than 5%; 30% relative reduction in the mean population intake of salt/sodium by 2025; 25% relative reduction in the prevalence of raised blood pressure or contain the prevalence of raised blood pressure, according to national circumstances; and halt the rise in obesity and diabetes. The methodologies for tracking progress differ across targets. See Methodology for more information on the indicators.

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Diet

Infant and young child feeding

Prevalence of infant and young child feeding indicators

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Source: UNICEF. Global databases: Infant and young child feeding. Published online July 2020. Available at: http://data.unicef.org/nutrition/iycf. Accessed 24 August 2021.

Notes: Prevalence (%) estimates are presented for infants and young children aged 0–23 months (age varies by indicator). The number of countries (not shown) varies by indicator due to differences in available surveys and so inferences may be affected. See Methodology for more information on the indicators.

Dietary intakes

Dietary intakes of key foods and nutrients in adults aged 20 years and over compared against minimum and maximum targets (where ideal intake is within the shaded area)

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Source: Tufts University. Global Dietary Database. Published online 2019. Available at: https://www.globaldietarydatabase.org/data-download. Accessed 6 September 2021.

Notes: Intakes are reported in grams per day (g/d) for all dietary factors. Intakes are based on modelled estimates for adults aged 25 years and older. The dietary factors have been selected as those diet components that have a statistically significant relationship with at least one disease endpoint that can be generalisable to all populations. Recommended intake targets were determined by the EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems. This includes minimum recommended intakes of health promoting food groups (fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and wholegrains) and maximum recommended intakes of food groups with detrimental health and/or environmental impacts (red meat, dairy, and fish). Ideal intake for each food is within the shaded area of the graph.

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Nutrition strategies and financing

National nutrition policies

Implemented national food and NCD policies

Food-based dietary guidelines
29/33
Legislation for mandatory salt iodisation
20/33
Sugar-sweetened beverage tax
21/33
Policy to reduce salt/sodium consumption
14/33
Policy to limit saturated fatty acid intake
6/33
Policy to eliminate industrially produced trans fatty acids
9/33
Policy to reduce the impact of marketing of foods and beverages high in saturated fats, trans fatty acids, free sugars, or salt on children
6/33
Operational policy, strategy, or action plan to reduce unhealthy diet related to non-communicable diseases
25/33
Operational, multisectoral policy, strategy or action plan for non-communicable diseases
17/33
Operational policy, strategy or action plan for diabetes
24/33

Source: Global Fortification Data Exchange. Available at: https://fortificationdata.org/interactive-map-fortification-legislation. Accessed 31 August 2021; Global Fortification Data Exchange. Available at: https://fortificationdata.org/interactive-map-fortification-legislation. Accessed 24 August 2021; WHO. Global Health Observatory Data Repository. Available at: https://www.who.int/data/gho/data/indicators. Accessed 2 September 2021.

Notes: Number of countries with food-based dietary guidelines in 2018, sugar-sweetened beverage tax in 2017 and all other policies in 2019. 'Policy' is defined as a specific official decision or set of decisions designed to carry out a course of action endorsed by a political body, including a set of goals, priorities and main directions for attaining these goals, including legislation and product reformulation mandates. 'Strategy' is defined as a long-term plan designed to achieve a particular goal. Action plan is defined as a scheme or course of action, which may correspond to a policy or strategy, with defined activities indicating who does what, when, how and with what resources to accomplish an objective. ‘Operational’ describes a policy, strategy or plan of action being used and implemented in the country, with resources and funding available to implement it. ‘Multisectoral’ applies to a policy, strategy or plan of action that involves different sectors (e.g., health, agriculture, education, finance). See Methodology for more information on the indicators.

National policy targets

Inclusion of targets related to the global nutrition targets in national policies

Reduce anaemia among women
14/33
Reduce number of infants born with low birth weight
21/33
Increase prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding in infants 0–5 months
25/33
Reduce childhood stunting
24/33
Reduce childhood wasting
20/33
Reduce childhood overweight
26/33
Reduce adolescent and adult overweight
26/33
Reduce salt/sodium intake
23/33
Reduce raised blood pressure prevalence
17/33
Reduce blood sugar levels/diabetes prevalence
26/33
Multisectoral comprehensive nutrition plan
20/33

Source: WHO GINA. 2nd Global Nutrition Policy Review. 2016–2017.

Notes: Number of countries with target included in national policies in 2017. Any national government-implemented policy, strategy or plan relevant to improving nutrition and promoting healthy diet was considered for 194 countries. Legislation, codes, regulations, protocols and guidelines, as well as non-governmental policies, were excluded. See Methodology for more information on the indicators.

Nutrition intervention coverage

Population coverage of key supplementation and fortification interventions

Data is only available at the country level

Official development assistance (ODA)

Allocation of ODA for nutrition

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Source: Global Nutrition Report based on OECD DAC CRS. 2019.

Notes: Gross official development assistance (ODA) received or disbursed for basic nutrition (CRS code: 12240) reported in US$ millions (constant 2018 prices) and as percentage (%) of the total ODA received/disbursed. Estimates include ODA grants and loans, but excludes other official flows and private grants. See Methodology for more information on the indicators.

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Social determinants of nutrition

Population composition

Total population, thousands 653,962
Under-5 population, thousands 51,690
Over-65 population, thousands 58,651
Rural population, % 19

Source: UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. World Population Prospects. 2019. Available at: https://population.un.org/wpp/Download/Standard/Population. Accessed: 31 August 2021.

Notes: Estimates are reported in thousands for total population, population group aged under 5 years, population group aged 65 years and over and as percentage (%) for population living in rural areas. All estimates are based on modelled estimates for 2020. See Methodology for more information on the indicators.

Prevalence of undernourishment

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Source: FAO Statistics Division. Food Security/Suite of Food Security Indicators. 2019. Available at: http://www.fao.org/sustainable-development-goals/indicators/211/en. Accessed 31 August 2021.

Notes: Prevalence (%) is calculated from three-year averages of modelled estimates, with the associated year being the middle year of those three (e.g., 2018 estimate is the average of 2017–2019). The prevalence of undernourishment is defined as the proportion of the population whose habitual food consumption is insufficient to provide the dietary energy levels required to maintain a normal active and healthy life. See Methodology for more information on the indicators.

Under-5 mortality rate per 1,000 live births

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Source: UNICEF. Global databases: Under-five mortality. Published online September 2020. Available at: http://data.unicef.org/child-mortality/under-five. Accessed 31 August 2021.

Notes: Number of deaths of children aged 0–59 months per 1,000 live births, based on modelled estimates up to 2019. See Methodology for more information on the indicators.

Population density of health workers per 1,000 people

Type Number Year
Medical doctors No data No data
Nurses and midwives No data No data
Community health workers No data No data

Source: World Bank. Global Health Workforce Statistics. Available at: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator. Accessed 31 August 2021.

Notes: Number of health workers per 1,000 people, based on modelled estimates. Health worker definition and training vary across countries and human resources tend to be concentrated in urban areas, so inferences may be affected. Medical doctors include generalist and specialist medical doctors. Nurses and midwives include professional, auxiliary and enrolled nurses and midwives, as well as other associated personnel, e.g. dental and primary care nurses. Community health workers include various types of community health aides, many with country-specific occupational titles such as community health officers, community health-education workers, family health workers, lady health visitors and health extension package workers. See Methodology for more information on the indicators.

Source of drinking water

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Source: WHO/UNICEF. Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation. 2020. Available at: https://washdata.org/data. Accessed 2 September 2021.

Notes: Percentage (%) of population using each drinking water source, based on modelled estimates up to 2020. ‘Safely managed’ refers to using an improved (i.e. by design and construction has the potential to deliver safe water) drinking water source located on the premises, available when needed and free from faecal and priority chemical contamination. ‘Basic’ refers to using an improved source, for which water collection time is not more than 30 minutes for a round trip, including queuing. ‘Limited’ refers to an improved source for which water collection time exceeds 30 minutes for a round trip including queuing. ‘Unimproved’ refers to an unprotected dug well or unprotected spring. ‘Surface water’ refers to drinking water directly from a river, dam, lake, pond, stream, canal or irrigation canal. See Methodology for more information on the indicators.

Type of sanitation facility

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Source: WHO/UNICEF. Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation. 2020. Available at: https://washdata.org/data. Accessed 2 September 2021.

Notes: Percentage (%) of population using different types of sanitation facilities, based on modelled estimates up to 2020. ‘Safely managed’ refers to using improved (i.e. designed to hygienically separate excreta from human contact) sanitation facilities not shared with other households and where excreta are safely disposed in situ or transported and treated off-site. ‘Basic’ refers to using improved facilities not shared with other households. ‘Limited’ refers to using improved facilities shared between two or more households. ‘Unimproved’ refers to using pit latrines without a slab or platform, hanging latrines or bucket latrines. ‘Open defecation’ refers to disposal of human faeces in fields, forests, bushes, open bodies of water, beaches and other open spaces or with solid waste. See Methodology for more information on the indicators.

Annual gross domestic product (GDP) per capita

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Source: International Monetary Fund. World Economic Outlook database. Published online October 2021. Available at: https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WEO/weo-database/2021/October. Accessed 12 November 2021

Notes: Annual gross domestic product (GDP) per capita based on purchasing power parity (PPP) in constant 2017 international dollars. Estimates are based on population-weighted means of 30 countries. See Methodology for more information on the indicators.

Population living below the poverty line

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Source: World Bank. PovcalNet: an online analysis tool for global poverty monitoring. 2020. Available at: http://iresearch.worldbank.org/PovcalNet/home.aspx. Accessed 31 August 2021.

Notes: Percentage (%) of population living on less than US$1.90 or less than US$3.20 per day, based on 2011 purchasing power parity (PPP), up to 2020. Estimates are based on population-weighted means of 24 countries. See Methodology for more information on the indicators.

Country income inequality index

Data is only available at the country level

Gender-related determinants

Data is only available at the country level

Prevalence of female secondary school enrolment

We have no data for this section
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Environmental impacts

Environmental pressure from the food system

Pressure from the food system on environmental factors as a percentage of total pressure

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Source: New analysis based on estimates of food demand from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) (FAO. Food Balance Sheets: A Handbook. Rome, Italy: FAO, 2001) and a database of country- and food group-specific environmental footprints (Springmann et al. Nature 2018; 562: 519–25; Poore & Nemecek. Science 2018; 360: 987–92).

Notes: Data on food demand for each country from FAO was paired with a comprehensive database of environmental footprints, differentiated by country, food group, and environmental impact. The footprints take into account all food production, including inputs such as fertilisers and feed, transport, and processing, e.g., of oil seeds to oils and sugar crops to sugars.

Food system impact on planetary boundaries

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Source: New analysis based on estimates of food demand from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) (FAO. Food Balance Sheets: A Handbook. Rome, Italy: FAO, 2001) and a database of country- and food group-specific environmental footprints (Springmann et al. Nature 2018; 562: 519–25; Poore & Nemecek. Science 2018; 360: 987–92). The target values for sustainable food production are in line with Sustainable Development Goals specified by and adapted from the EAT-Lancet Commission (Willett et al.The Lancet 2019; 393: 447–92.; Springmann et al. The British Medical Journal 2020; 370: 2322).

Notes: Planetary boundaries define the threshold related to global environmental processes beyond which humanity should not go. Planetary boundaries align with the targets for sustainable food production as set out by the Sustainable Development Goals. If impacts exceed 100% of the planetary boundary, the dietary pattern of that particular region or country can be considered unsustainable in light of global environmental targets, and disproportionate in the context of an equitable distribution of environmental resources and mitigation efforts.