Santiago, Chile

Tackling the Obesity Epidemic During the COVID-19 Pandemic

To tackle its high rate of childhood obesity, Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge winner Santiago, Chile, developed a game called “Juntos Santiago” (Together Santiago) to encourage students and their families to eat healthy foods and engage in physical activity. The program’s healthy challenges have led to significant improvements in body mass index, overall physical activity, and nutritional habits.

In response to the pandemic and the attendant school closures, the city worked quickly to adapt the program to include physical exercises designed for limited spaces in homes and made sure the program’s nutritional recommendations included foods in the care packages being distributed to those struggling with food insecurity due to the pandemic.