Colombia · Law · Legislation

Law for Control, Care and Prevention of Obesity and related NCDs (Law No. 1355 of 2009)


To declare obesity and the non-communicable diseases associated with it a public health priority, and to adopt measures for its control, care, and prevention.


As the first comprehensive law in Colombia on diet-related non-communicable diseases, this law takes several important steps:

  • It declares obesity as a chronic public health disease and a direct cause of heart disease, circulatory disease, high cholesterol, stress, depression, hypertension, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, colon disease, among others, all of which considerably increase the mortality rate of Colombians (Art. 1).
  • It foresees that the State, through the relevant Ministries and government actors, will promote food security and nutritional policies aimed at fostering healthy and safe environments for their development (Art. 3).
  • It specifies the responsibility for action among the relevant stakeholders (Art. 4). Specifically, it foresees that:
    • Public and private educational establishments shall guarantee the availability of fruits and vegetables.
    • Public and private educational centers shall adopt a food education program to promote a healthy and balanced diet, in accordance with the relevant national guidelines, and taking into account the cultural characteristics of each region.
    • The Government shall establish mechanisms to promote the production and marketing of fruits and vegetables, with the participation of territorial entities, the private sector, and agricultural production associations.
  • It provides that the Government shall adopt regulations for food products containing trans fats and saturated fats within 6 months from the adoption of the law (Art. 7 -8).
  • It provides that food producers shall ensure that the information on nutritional and caloric content required by the regulation of the Ministry of Social Protection is presented on their labels (Art. 9-10);
  • The Ministry of Social Protection shall create a specialized panel (“sala especializada”) tasked with regulating and monitoring the advertising of food and beverages, with a view of protecting the health of all users and especially of those in early childhood and adolescence, taking into account what established by the World Health Organization (Art. 12);
  • The Ministry of Social Protection and the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare [Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar], along with food producers, shall put in place educational activities that promote a healthy and balanced diet in the Colombian population, and especially in children and adolescents, emphasizing the establishment of healthy environments. To this end, they shall follow the guidelines of the Pan American Health Organization (Art. 13);
  • Beauty and diet products shall clearly state on their labels and advertising (in television, radio, and press) that the use of those products does not substitute the need for physical activity and a healthy diet (Art. 14);
  • The Intersectoral Commission for Food and Nutritional Security [Comisión Intersectorial de Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional, or CISAN] shall be the directing and coordinating authority of the Food and Nutritional Security [Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional] in Colombia (Art. 15).