Brazilians consume an average of 112 pounds of sugar a year, and a documentary on the growing problem of child obesity puts the issue into a global perspective.
• A version of this post ran on the author's blog, Riogringa. The views expressed are the author's own.
The film sheds light on Brazil's child obesity epidemic, ranging from this terrifying statistic about infant soda consumption to the fact that on average, Brazilian kids spend three hours per day in school and five hours per day watching TV. The movie also looks at the fact that obesity in general is a growing problem in Brazil. It points out, for example, that Brazilians consume an average of 112 pounds of sugar a year.
But perhaps what's most interesting about the movie is putting Brazil's obesity epidemic into a global perspective as a result of deepening globalization. While interviewing Brazilians across the country from all levels of the socioeconomic spectrum, the movie also includes foreign voices, including people from the United States, the United Kingdom, China, and Mexico, among others [See The Christian Science Monitor's focus on obesity in Latin America here.]. One Brazilian observer explains her perspective that a country is defined by the food it eats, and that it is not necessarily a good thing to be able to go anywhere in the world and eat the same exact thing. There's also an interesting point that applies to other large growing economies: parents sometimes send unhealthy processed food for children's school meals to show off a new ability to consume, and giving kids products they may not have had access to when they were young. [see original post for link to documentary in Portuguese.]