On World Obesity Day, 4 March, we highlight the success Portugal has had in tackling childhood obesity – one of the main health challenges in the WHO European Region – with their sugary drinks tax.
Childhood obesity is a complex public health issue – caused by many factors, it intersects significantly with socioeconomic status. As obesity can establish behaviours at a young and vulnerable age, countries have a duty to protect children from a phenomenon that can become a health burden for the rest of their lives.
In Portugal, the combination of unhealthy diets and a rise in sedentary lifestyles has precipitated a public health struggle with childhood obesity. The consequences of this have implications for Portugal to achieve the wider targets for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) by 2030.