• Overview
  • Obesity prevalence
  • Population breakdowns
  • Drivers
  • Comorbidities
  • Economic impact
  • Policies
  • Contextual factors
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Obesity prevalence

Adults, 2010-2011

Survey type:Measured
Age:18+
Sample size:3507
Area covered:Regional
References:McDonald A, Bradshaw RA, Fontes F et al. Prevalence of obesity in Panama; some risk factors and asociated diseases. BMC Public Health (2015) 15:1075
Notes:Panama & Colon Province Age adjusted figure Considered reasonably nationally representative
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2000

Survey type:Measured
Age:15+
Sample size:875
Area covered:National
References:Diaz QME, De Leon P, De Arango L and Mascarin F. Estudio Multicentrico de prevalencia de obesidad en la poblacion Aseturada de la caja de la Republica de Panama 2000.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2018

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:13-17
Sample size:2948
Area covered:National
References:Global School-based Student Health Survey 2018. https://extranet.who.int/ncdsmicrodata/index.php/catalog/879/download/6235 (Accessed 14.09.21)
Definitions:BMI by age and sex. Overweight = >+1SD from median for BMI by age and sex. Obesity = >+2SD from median for BMI by age and sex
Cutoffs:Other

Overweight/obesity by age

Adults, 2010-2011

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:3507
Area covered:Panama & Colon Province considered reasonably nationally representative
References:McDonald A, Bradshaw RA, Fontes F et al. Prevalence of obesity in Panama; some risk factors and asociated diseases. BMC Public Health (2015) 15:1075
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Overweight/obesity by region

Adults, 2010-2011

Survey type:Measured
Age:18+
Sample size:3507
Area covered:Considered to be reasonably nationally representative
References:McDonald A, Bradshaw RA, Fontes F et al. Prevalence of obesity in Panama; some risk factors and asociated diseases. BMC Public Health (2015) 15:1075
Notes:Age Adjusted prevalence
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Estimated per capita fruit intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita fruit intake (g/day)

Estimated per-capita processed meat intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita processed meat intake (g per day)

Estimated per capita whole grains intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita whole grains intake (g/day)

Mental health - depression disorders

Adults, 2015

References:Prevalence data from Global Burden of Disease study 2015 (http://ghdx.healthdata.org) published in: Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva:World Health Organization; 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Definitions:% of population with depression disorders

Mental health - anxiety disorders

Adults, 2015

References:Prevalence data from Global Burden of Disease study 2015 (http://ghdx.healthdata.org) published in: Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva:World Health Organization; 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Definitions:% of population with anxiety disorders

% Infants exclusively breastfed 0-5 months

Children, 1998-2019

Area covered:National
References:Panama Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2013. New York, United States: United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
Notes:See UNICEF website for further survey information. Available at : https://data.unicef.org/resources/dataset/infant-young-child-feeding/ (last accessed 28.9.21) Citation: United Nations Children’s Fund, Division of Data, Analysis, Planning and Monitoring (2021). Global UNICEF Global Databases: Infant and Young Child Feeding: Exclusive breastfeeding, New York, September 2021.
Definitions:% exclusively breastfed 0-5 months

Oesophageal cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, oesophagus, adults ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, oesophagus, adults ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Breast cancer

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, breast, females, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Colorectal cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, colorectum, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, colorectum, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Pancreatic cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, pancreas, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, pancreas, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Gallbladder cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, gallbladder, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, gallbladder, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Kidney cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, kidney, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, kidney, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Cancer of the uterus

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, cervix uteri, females, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Raised blood pressure

Adults, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Men, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Women, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Raised cholesterol

Adults, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Men, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Women, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Raised fasting blood glucose

Men, 2014

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A869?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised % raised fasting blood glucose (>= 7.0 mmol/L or on medication).

Women, 2014

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A869?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised % raised fasting blood glucose (>= 7.0 mmol/L or on medication).

Diabetes prevalence

Adults, 2021

Age:20-79
Area covered:National
References:Reproduced with kind permission International Diabetes Federation.  IDF Diabetes Atlas, 10th edn. Brussels, Belgium:International Diabetes Federation, 2021. http://www.diabetesatlas.org
Definitions:Age-adjusted comparative prevalence of diabetes, %

Adults, 2019

Age:20-79
References:Reproduced with kind permission International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 9th edn. Brussels,Belgium: 2019. Available at: https://www.diabetesatlas.org
Definitions:Diabetes age-adjusted comparative prevalence (%).

Adults, 2017

References:Reproduced with kind permission of IDF, International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 8th edition. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation, 2017. http://www.diabetesatlas.org
Definitions:Diabetes age-adjusted comparative prevalence (%).

Economic impact of overweight and obesity

Country comparisons

You can choose to compare this country’s data with the data for up to four other countries.

Policies, Interventions and Actions

Sugary drink tax

Amendment to the 1995 Law. Sugary drinks defined as >7.5g per 100ml. 7% tax on Soft drinks, 10% on Syrups and 5% on other sugary drinks

Categories:Taxation/Subsidies on Food or Beverages or law relating to public health
Year(s):2019 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Panama Ministry of Health
Linked document:Download linked document

National Food and Nutrition Security Plan 2017-2021

The purpose of the National Food and Nutrition Security Plan 2017-2021 is to promote food and nutritional security through intersectoral and inter-institutional coordination. It includes a section on overweight and obesity

Categories:Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Year(s):2017-2021
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:National Secretariat for the Food and Nutrition Security Plan
Find out more:www.senapan.gob.pa
Linked document:Download linked document

National Health Policy 2016-2025

National Health Policy 2016-2025

Categories:Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Year(s):2016-2025
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Ministry of Health
Find out more:minsa.b-cdn.net
Linked document:Download linked document

National strategic plan for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and risk factors, 2014-2025

National strategic plan for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and risk factors, 2014-2025

Categories:Evidence of NCD strategy
Year(s):2014-2025
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Ministry of Health
Linked document:Download linked document

Food-based dietary guidelines

Panama has two guidelines which are aimed at the healthy population; one for those 2 years and older, and a second for healthy children under 2 years of age

Categories:Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Year(s):2013 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Ministry of Health
Find out more:www.minsa.gob.pa
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. http://www.fao.org/nutrition/education/food-based-dietary-guidelines/regions/countries/panama/en/ (last accessed 1 March 2016)

Guide for the comprehensive care of people with obesity

Guide for the comprehensive care of people with obesity

Categories:Evidence of Management/treatment guidelines
Year(s):2009 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults
Organisation:Ministry of Health
Linked document:Download linked document

Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes: National Implementation of the International Code Status Report 2016 (Promotion of Breastfeeding)

The 2016 report provides information on the status of implementing the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent relevant World Health Assembly resolutions (“the Code”) in and by countries. The report also identifies in which countries they actively promote the benefits of breastfeeding.

Categories:Evidence of Breastfeeding promotion or related activity
Target age group:Adults
Organisation:WHO UNICEF IBFAN
References:WHO. UNICEF. IBFAN. Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes: National Implementation of the International Code. Status Report 2016. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2016

No actions could be found for the above criteria.

Contextual factors

Disclaimer: These contextual factors should be interpreted with care. Results are updated as regularly as possible and use very specific criteria. The criteria used and full definitions are available for download at the bottom of this page.

Tap on a tick to find out more about policies influencing this factor.

Labelling

Is there mandatory nutrition labelling?Absent
Front-of-package labelling?Absent
Back-of-pack nutrition declaration?Absent
Color coding?Absent
Warning label?Absent

Regulation and marketing

Are there fiscal policies on unhealthy products?Present
Tax on unhealthy foods?Absent
Tax on unhealthy drinks?Present
Are there fiscal policies on healthy products?Absent
Subsidy on fruits?Absent
Subsidy on vegetables?Absent
Subsidy on other healthy products?Absent
Mandatory limit or ban of trans fat (all settings)?Absent
Mandatory limit of trans fats in place (all settings)? Absent
Ban on trans-fats or phos in place (all settings)? Absent
Are there any mandatory policies/marketing restrictions on the promotion of unhealthy food/drinks to children?Absent
Mandatory restriction on broadcast media?Absent
Mandatory restriction on non-broadcast media?Absent
Voluntary policies/marketing restrictions on the promotion of unhealthy food/drinks to children?Absent
Are there mandatory standards for food in schools?Absent
Are there any mandatory nutrient limits in any manufactured food products?Absent
Nutrition standards for public sector procurement?Absent

Political will and support

National obesity strategy or nutrition and physical activity national strategy?Absent
National obesity strategy?Absent
National childhood obesity strategy?Absent
Comprehensive nutrition strategy?Present
Comprehensive physical activity strategy?Absent
Evidence-based dietary guidelines and/or RDAs?Present
National target(s) on reducing obesity?Absent
Guidelines/policy on obesity treatment?Present
Promotion of breastfeeding?Absent

Monitoring and surveillance

Monitoring of the prevalence and incidence for the main obesity-related NCDs and risk factors?Present
Within 5 years?Absent

Governance and resource

Multi-sectoral national co-ordination mechanism for obesity or nutrition (including obesity)?Absent

Key

Present
Present (voluntary)
Incoming
Absent
Unknown

Last updated September 13, 2022

See more policies here

Download contextual factors as a PDF Contextual factors definitions

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