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Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is a multifactorial condition that has become a public health problem worldwide. In 2020, 158 million children older than 5 years were overweight, according to the World Obesity Federation. In Brazil, it has been estimated that approximately 30% of the children and adolescents treated at SUS-affiliated primary healthcare centers are overweight.

Our projects are targeted at the prevention and treatment of childhood and adolescent obesity

Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes and cardiac and respiratory diseases in childhood and adulthood, affecting the quality of life and the full development of children and adolescents and overwhelming the health system. The need to reduce obesity rates has been a major challenge in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, which contributed to a sedentary lifestyle, with higher screen use by children and adolescents, and to an increase in the consumption of ultraprocessed foods, which have become more accessible to most of the economically underprivileged Brazilian families.

Our projects are targeted at the prevention and treatment of childhood and adolescent obesity and at the promotion of appropriate environment and eating habits, with the aim of safeguarding the right to healthier eating habits and lifestyle.


Desiderata carries out integrated actions to raise the awareness of public managers and to influence public policies for the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity, such as knowledge production and dissemination, data monitoring, mobilization campaigns, and advocacy actions in the legislative and executive branches.


Third edition of the Panorama on Obesity

in Children and Adolescents, fully in virtual format. The Panorama is a dynamic and user-friendly online tool that uses data from the Brazilian National Food and Nutrition Surveillance System (SISVAN), under the auspices of the Brazilian National Department of Health, and provides data on nutritional status and food intake of children and adolescents, categorized by sex, age, race/color, and place of residence.

mapped and shared publications and research studies
articles published in the blog
accesses from October to December

Advocacy actions in the legislative and executive branches


Submitted in December 2019 by César Maia (city councilor) and 14 co-authors.
Mapping of town councilors and legislative committees.
Selection of the approach to be used with each political group (for, neutral, and against).
Advocacy of the Bill started in March 2021.
Development of technical materials to subsidize face-to-face advocacy: Note 1 ícone link externo , Note 2 ícone link externo .
Distribution of the 2nd version of the Panorama on Obesity to city councilors.
12 meetings with city councilors and/or advisors
Bill passed in the first round on August 4 with 30 votes for and 10 against
On August 5, the Bill was put back on the agenda, and three amendments were made by members of the opposition parties. The Bill was given out so that seven legislative committees consonant with the goals of the Bill could speak up.
Meeting with representatives of the Local Department of Education to seek support from the Executive Branch and plan its regulation beforehand.
Draft of a substitute text that met the interests of the Executive Branch and the three amendments previously proposed by the opposition parties, without drifting away from the Bill’s original goal.
Ceremony at the City Hall on December 7 in homage to the head of the State Department of Education, Renan Ferreirinha. During the ceremony, pressure was brought to bear on the government to ensure the Bill would be approved.
The Bill had not been put back on the agenda by the end of 2021.
foto na câmara municipal
foto na câmara municipal
foto na câmara municipal
foto na câmara municipal


The Bill proposed by Ms. Verônica Lima (city councilor) was submitted in September 2021. The Bill is a replica of Bill 1662/2019.
Meeting with the city councilor’s head of office to propose a joint strategy for approval of the Bill in Niterói, scheduled for 2022.
Decision on the advocacy strategy with initial focus on conversing with and seeking the support of the Bill’s author.

Community mobilization campaign

Advocacy campaign entitled “Those wanting to prevent obesity, raise your hands!”, held in partnership with the Alliance for Healthy and Adequate Food, to enlist the help of the community for the approval of Bill 1662/2019, which puts forward measures to stop the increase of childhood obesity in the city of Rio de Janeiro.

signatures on its online petition
8 million
people reached
Grupo de pessoas na câmara municipal do Rio de Janeiro

Patient Healthcare Trajectory

Partnership with the Department of Health of Rio de Janeiro for providing a diagnosis that permits establishing a patient healthcare trajectory for overweight children and adolescents.
Research project conceived by a Working Group (WG) composed by the Department of Health of Rio de Janeiro, Desiderata Institute, Rio de Janeiro State University, and Funchal (specialized consulting services).
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Online Training ícone link externo

health professionals trained in the care of childhood and adolescent obesity
12 groups
with 6 tutors from different backgrounds and with experience in Primary Care
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Strategic Networks

Childhood obesity is a multifactorial public health problem. Therefore, handling obesity depends upon long-term collective and integrated actions. Desiderata considers partnering with national and international groups of paramount importance because the impact of its actions can be enhanced. Some of these groups are:

Alliance for Healthy and Adequate Food

Organization with professionals, associations, and social movements that focus on the promotion and protection of appropriate and healthy eating habits. The group aims to encourage the implementation of public policies that guarantee the food security of the population. In 2021, Desiderata joined the steering committee.

NCD Alliance

International organization with more than 2,000 organizations, including civil society movements, government partners, and UN agencies, which work with policies and practices related to noncommunicable diseases worldwide, including cancer and obesity.

Food Policy Program

Based on the vast experience of Bloomberg Philanthropies in the reduction of tobacco use, the Food Policy Program partners with civil society organizations and research institutes to promote efficient public policies on the regulation of practices, foods, and environments. In Brazil, the following organizations and institutes are partners of the Food Policy Program: ACT Promoção da Saúde; Instituto Brasileiro de Defesa do Consumidor (IDEC); FIAN Brasil, Núcleo de Pesquisas Epidemiológicas em Nutrição e Saúde (NUPENS), and the Desiderata Institute.

Early Childhood Coalition

Group of organizations that monitor bills associated with early childhood, such as the Maria Cecília Souto Vidigal Foundation, the Alana Institute, the Desiderata Institute, and the National Early Childhood Network.

Intersectoral Forum on the Control of Chronic NCDs

Its goal is to establish partnerships with the main organizations in the public, private, and third sectors for the control of chronic noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). It uses a continuous initiative on its digital platforms and meetings held every 6 months, comprising over 100 participating organizations.

Brazilian National Department of Health and PAHO

We attended the launching of PROTEJA, a program for the prevention of childhood obesity, under the auspices of the Brazilian National Department of Health, in partnership with the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Food Programme (WFP). In addition, we were invited to take part in the Specialist Committee for the development of the Guide for Local Managers of Intersectoral Actions necessary for the implementation of PROTEJA.