Daily Archives: February 2, 2014

Do Bolivians eat properly?

Monica Briancon writes in La Prensa:


Monica BrianconSome time ago, in a social venue, I was departing with friends, chit chat. One of them, openly, entrusted to the group that in Bolivia being skinny is a luxury. All the others nodded and agreed with the statement. Those who were at the table probably were thinking of losing some pounds won at the end of year holidays and make one of the so many miraculous diets that are pruned fashion each week and have no long-lasting results.

The sentence left me pensive because not all Bolivians suffer from obesity, which has reached epidemic proportions worldwide and, as shown by the World Health Organization (WHO), although previously considered a problem confined to high-income countries, today obesity is also prevalent in low-and middle-income countries, making obesity arising as a very “fat” problem of public health.

Thinking that between the 13th and 15th centuries, those who had the biggest belly and eating all the greasy morsel that came to their mouth, was the most prosperous and healthy person in the region! There was the difference between the fat, opulent and rich and lean or poor people, that remained through the scraps that fell from the first tables and supplementing their diet, fighting pigs over pieces of fruits and vegetables.

Contradictions of life, diets have given a tremendous spin; doctors, nutritionists and other professionals insist on a basic diet if or if it should contain vegetables, fruit and little or very little meat. This implies that the population should have enough to eat, food should be affordable, quality and of course to ensure the health of the inhabitants according to the diet.

A recent study by the United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture, WHO and the World Organization of Labor, said that Bolivia, Venezuela and Paraguay are, in this order, the countries of the region where people eat worse. The index “Good Enough to Eat” developed by Intermon Oxfam evaluates the food in 125 countries. Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela are outside the top 50 positions, despite being large producers of raw materials and food. [I will insert some of the graphs made at that site, below the link of this article]

Sad and jarring of the matter is that not only there is no access to good food but the emerging bourgeoisie and other sectors has returned to the obscurantist time devouring fast food, filling their stomachs with frying, for, months later, appear with a medieval belly, giving as a result that 19% of the adult population in Bolivia suffers from obesity.

And what is being done? Apparently very little. Could it be that we will arrive to testify to obesity as a disease that afflicts the Bolivians, leading us to heart disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and cancer?

Apparently, the slogan of some time ago has been forgotten, that one saying to live well or good living – already I do not remember it – because after eight years of the famous and mentioned change in the leadership of the country, I see as a corollary to a new Bolivian who does not know what it is to live well. Not to be that this new citizen synonym of good for living is a fat, unhealthy, person mounted in a very expensive car, with building under construction and an arrogant, tyrannical and despotic character.


Good enough to Eat map

Overall Score

2014-01-31 11.39.01 am

Enough to Eat

2014-01-31 11.42.42 am

Afford to Eat

2014-01-31 11.43.49 am

Food Quality

2014-01-31 11.45.23 am

Unhealthy Eating

2014-01-31 11.46.52 am


We humans are unpredictable, I just hope that no matter the reason, social status, incentive or money availability, we need to start changing our eating habits, it is a win-win situation.