With a bigger economy and a growing middle class, Brazil is facing new public health challenges, including an obesity epidemic. A documentary released in Brazil last month called Way Beyond Weight delves into children's obesity in Brazil, an increasingly worrying issue given that around a third of Brazilian kids are overweight. Some of the themes mirror the same issues in the United States--which has had a longer obesity epidemic--ranging from fast food advertising aimed at kids to children unable to identify basic produce.The film also reveals other staggering statistics, like the fact that an estimated 56 of Brazilian babies under the age of 1 drink soda. There's even a scene showing a mother bottle-feeding a baby with soda.
It also delves into the growing presence of junk food and fast food companies in Brazil and how they target children. One scene even shows a Nestlé boat arriving in sparsely populated areas of the Amazon; these boats carry tons of cookies to this region. One of the producers noted that while they were filming, he met an indigenous chief who gave tips for making Ramen noodles.
Child obesity in Brazil isn't limited by social class, and the film aims to show children across the socioeconomic spectrum throughout the country. In a few scenes, the movie shows kids unable to identify vegetables.
Brazil's obesity epidemic still hasn't received enough attention domestically, so the film is a good start to put this issue on the policy radar.
To watch more clips from the movie, click here.