Ecuador's Healthy Food Campaign: An Effectiveness Assessment
This innovative project will address the problem of rising obesity and overweight rates in Ecuador through a civil society-led marketing campaign on responsible food consumption. The campaign will help improve food policy interventions, convince people to adopt healthy and sustainable diets, and prevent food-related chronic illness. Heavy health burden Overweight and obesity rates have been steadily rising across Ecuador over the last decades. The country has had no success in curbing the increase or preventing associated non-communicable diseases. Faced with the growing health burden, the national government is promoting programs that target individual consumers and environmental determinants. Initiatives include improving processed food labelling, and promoting fresh foods and traditional Andean diets. Building on a food movement This project will build on Ecuador's grassroots food movement known as Colectivo Nacional Agroecologico. It offers an alternative, complementary, and organized approach focused on -sustainable agro-ecology -food sovereignty -economic solidarity More than 250 consumer and producer organizations from across the country are involved. The group aims to influence food purchasing, procurement, and more responsible food consumption. Moving the masses to health They embarked on an ambitious 250 Thousand Families campaign to mobilize the 'consumer-citizen' with the aim of getting 5% of the country's population to invest half of their existing household food budgets in healthier, more equitable, and sustainable food practices and diets. If successful, the campaign could re-direct up to CA$850 million per year toward the purchase of healthier foods. This would trigger changes in food production, retail, and marketing. Impact and opportunities This project will allow a consortium of research organizations from Ecuador and Canada to assess and document the actual and potential impact of the social marketing campaign. The research seeks to answer how civil society-led agrifood marketing campaigns can complement government policies and programs, and engage citizens in preventing food-related chronic diseases.