Obesity trends in Latin America continue to justify the label ‘epidemic’. The hurdles to tackling it are shared with other sustainable development challenges such as climate change and population ageing. How can we inspire new forms of governance that will feel empowered to address these pressing sustainable development challenges to quality of life?

In November 2017, the Sodexo Institute for Quality of Life held a round-table ‘Dialogue’ with experts from the fields of obesity, climate change and population ageing from Mexico, Brazil and Chile to consider: what are the prerequisites for successful behaviour change intervention? drawing on examples, what are the keys to successful communications campaigns to support behaviour change? what are the factors that can inspire and empower public policy-makers to be bold in driving behaviour change? what is governance and is it important? What lessons can be drawn from different sectors regarding smart governance? Are these lessons relevant to the local, national and regional levels?

As set out in its report ‘From awareness to action for sustainable development in Latin America: learning from obesity, climate change and population ageing’, the Sodexo Institute for Quality of Life found that the gap between ‘awareness’ and ‘action’ for more sustainable development is succinctly called ‘behaviour change’. Sustained behaviour change requires us to understand better what motivates us. In this quest, we can helpfully start to think of ourselves more as citizens who share in the benefits and burdens of achieving more sustainable development. For us to realign ourselves along these lines requires a change of language and tone in communications and marketing.

Responsible authorities are needed at the highest level with long term plans, the power to implement and evaluate corresponding policies, and the obligation to account for what is achieved.




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