Mesa Colombiana de Enfermedades Crónicas (MECIEC) has secured unprecedent commitment from the political class for better nutrition and public health policies.
To attain this result, MECIEC conducted in-person meetings with more than 45 political candidates during the campaign for the national parliament, from mid-2017 to mid-2018. Building on the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition, they stressed the importance of developing policies to promote better nutrition during childhood and, more broadly, public health policies for NCD prevention.
On the ground, several meetings in different electoral counties were organised to inform, advocate and mobilise the local civil society organisations (CSOs) to put pressure on their political representatives to make strong commitments to nutrition and NCD prevention. This tireless effort led to letters of support from 17 parliamentarians from different political parties, paving the way for recognition of the right to better health for children and the general population. The campaign was possible with a grant from the Accelerator Programme within the NCD Alliance Advocacy Institute.
This engagement of MECIEC for better nutrition echoes the legal fight led by CSO Educar Consumidores against industry interference. After disseminating a TV ad on the harmful effects of sugar sweetened beverages on health, the industry immediately filed a lawsuit against the CSO. The case had to be taken to the Constitutional Court, which ruled in favour of consumers' right to truthful information.