Cuba has best low birth weight rate in the region (5.3%) according to the Panorama of Food and Nutrition Security in Latin America report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
Meanwhile, exclusive breastfeeding, recommended for the first six months of the infant’s life, has significantly increased on the island: from 26.4% in 2006 to 48.6% in the period from 2010-2011, as part of the country’s broad maternal-infant health program.
However, just like the rest of the Caribbean, the number of overweight individuals (59% of the population) in Cuba is also on the rise, while a quarter of the island’s citizens are obese.
As such, actions being undertaken across the country to encourage the population to adopt a healthier diet include food fortification and the production of food guides to provide citizens with more information on nutrition. Another concrete measure that has been taken since 2010, is a campaign to reduce salt intake.
Meanwhile, the Urban and Suburban Agriculture Program, with a focus on local communities, is part of the island’s agricultural policy that is contributing to offering a wider variety of healthy foods, with production adapted to meet the needs of local communities. Some studies have shown that this initiative increases the population’s vitamin and mineral intake by providing them a wider variety of foods, in particular vegetables.