Sorry, America, you are no longer the fattest nation in the world. Mexico has pried that award from your chubby little fingers.
And the reason for the surge in Mexican weight gain?
“Modern Mexicans’ urban lifestyle, rising incomes and myriad consumption vices have fed a seemingly endless struggle that’s killing thousands more of them each year,” Dudley Althaus writes for Global Post.
“Even as nearly half its people are poor and as officials launch a national anti-hunger campaign, Mexico by some accounts recently has replaced the United States as the chubbiest of the globe’s larger countries,” the report adds.
“Diabetes and cardiovascular ills spike, plus sizes cram clothing racks and Mexicans keep eating, eating, eating.”
Doctors warn that obesity and malnourishment in the country often go hand-in-hand.
“The same people who are malnourished are the ones who are becoming obese,” said physician Abelardo Avila with Mexico’s National Nutrition Institute.
“In the poor classes we have obese parents and malnourished children. The worst thing is the children are becoming programmed for obesity. It’s a very serious epidemic.”
So what’s the final figure look like? Well, according to certain estimates, nearly 70 percent of Mexico’s adults are overweight (and a third of them way overweight).
“Childhood obesity tripled in a decade and about a third of teenagers are fat as well. Experts say four of every five of those heavy kids will remain so their entire lives,” the report notes.
“Weight-related diabetes claims the most Mexican lives each year, with nearly one of every six Mexican adults suffering from the disease. Heart and related ailments round out the list of the country’s top killers,” it adds.
In fact, according to Mexican authorities, diabetes kills roughly 70,000 Mexicans per year.
That’s almost “equal to the deaths authorities say are caused by more than six years of the country’s gangland wars.”
And here’s something that may sound familiar: Some critics blame the rise in unhealthy lifestyles on government-sponsored programs aimed at alleviating hunger among the poor.
Many of the people enrolled in, say, President Enrique Peña’s National Crusade Against Hunger “live in the more impoverished south of the country,” the report continues.
Physicians like Avila “criticize longstanding anti-poverty programs for putting cash into rural families’ hands that too often is being spent on fried snacks and sodas rather than nutritious foods.”
“They have put us into the worst kind of trap,” Avila said, adding that the supposedly anti-poverty programs are frequently “used to manipulate the vote.”
Others blame the U.S. for exporting cheap and unhealthy foods.
“Urban Mexicans wolf down pizza, hamburgers and deep-fried chicken with abandon,” Althaus writes.
“Relatively cheap chips, cookies and sugary soft drinks pack the shelves of the convenience stores and mom-and-pop groceries that are as common here as cacti, even in poor rural towns and villages.”
Click here to read more about America losing its Fatty Crown to Mexico.
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