Results From Venezuela’s 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth

Marianella Herrera-Cuenca, Betty Méndez-Perez, Vanessa Castro Morales, Joana Martín-Rojo, Bianca Tristan, Amilid Torín Bandy, Maritza Landaeta-Jiménez, Coromoto Macías-Tomei, and Mercedes López-Blanco

Background: The Venezuelan Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth is the first assessment of information related to physical activity in Venezuela. It provides a compilation of existing information throughout the country and assesses how well it is doing at promoting opportunities for children and youth. The aim of this article is to summarize the information available. Methods: Thirteen physical activity indicators were graded by a committee of experts using letters A to F (A, the highest, to F, the lowest) based on national surveys, peer review studies, and policy documents. Results: Some indicators report incomplete information or a lack of data. Overweight and Obesity were classified as A; Body Composition and Nongovernmental Organization Policies as B; Municipal Level Policies as C; and Overall Physical Activity Levels and National Level Policies as D. Conclusions: 63% of children and youth have low physical activity levels. Venezuela needs to undergo a process of articulation between the several existing initiatives, and for said purposes, political will and a methodological effort is required. Investments, infrastructure, and opportunities will be more equal for all children and youth if more cooperation between institutions is developed and communication strategies are applied.

Keywords: obesity, epidemiology, sedentary behavior, fitness, policy

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