The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, or FAO, has found Mexico to be the world’s most obese country with an obesity rate of 32.8 percent, a full point higher than the United States’. The health body’s most recent report blames the “increasingly industrialized agricultural production for a worldwide epidemic of both obesity and malnutrition.” Health experts say about 70 percent of Mexican adults are overweight while childhood obesity has tripled in the past decade. Estimates say that four of every five children who grow up obese will remain so through their adult lives.
What’s the Big Idea?
While Mexico’s obesity rates are rising in every segment of the population, the crisis disproportionately hits the poor and the young. Two sides of the same impoverished coin, malnourishment and obesity affect the same population in tandem. “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.”