Mexico’s Obesity Crisis: Statistics & Insights

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México has been trying to tackle the rising incidence of obesity among its population. The problem is becoming worse with time. Obesity is not only affecting Mexico but all the developed countries of the world because of access to fat-inducing food items and lack of adequate physical activity.

Mexico’s Obesity Epidemic: 2017

Mexico Obesity Statistics

Some important statistics

According to the 2017 Obesity Update by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 32.4% of the population above the age of 15 years is obese in Mexico. The breakup of this data among the male and female categories shows that there is a number of obese women than men in Mexico. An acute obesity crisis in Mexico has led to 74% of women and 70% of men being obese or overweight in Mexico.

The prevalence of obesity at all age levels in Mexico is proved by the estimate of the healthcare costs of Mexico on obesity-related diseases as put forward by a study published by the Cambridge University Press. It states that the healthcare cost of Mexico is going to increase to $1.2 billion in 2030 and to $1.7 billion in 2050. Another report by the UN World Food Programme (WPF) and the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) states that over the next sixty years, the overweight and obese population of Mexico would cost Mexico around $13 billion a year.

Disease and death caused by obesity in Mexico

The most common obesity-related diseases that people in Mexico suffer from are cancer, stroke, osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension. It is estimated that the percentage of normal weight males will decrease from 32% to 12% and females will decrease from 26% to 9% by 2050. The number of increase in the disease burden every year will double the incidence of obesity by 2050. Currently, the mortality rate of Mexico indicates that there are 5.12 deaths per 1000 births. This rate is set to become worse with time.

Causes of Obesity in México

Some of the most important contributing factors to the rising numbers of obese people in Mexico are mentioned here.

  • The introduction of processed food into the Mexican food market in the 1980’s has become widespread now. The easy access to fatty and high-on-sugar content food items has led México to alarming levels of obesity in Mexico both in the children as well as adults. Sodas and cheap junk food are a part of the everyday consumption of Mexicans.
  • The occupational shift from the agricultural sector to the industrial and service sectors has made the lifestyle of the Mexicans sedentary. This lack of activity does not allow the calories to burn. Mexicans consume a calorie-rich staple diet of tacos, tostadas, and tamales which add on to the already immense bulk of their bodies.
  • The problem of obesity is not just a health problem but a cultural issue. The advertisements promoting soft drinks and fast foods have made it irresistible for the people to consume large quantities of such food items. Also, sodas are cheaper than water in Mexico and act as instant energy boosters because of the high content of sugar. This is very dangerous for health and a major factor in the rising levels of obesity among the Mexicans.
  • Another important point is the education and income disparity. Obesity is seen to increase more rapidly among the lesser educated men and women. There is a strong correlation between poverty and obesity in Mexico. Around 50% of the Mexican population is poor. These people cannot afford to substitute the cheap junk food with a healthy and expensive diet.

Efforts made by the government to curb obesity

The Mexican government has imposed a 10% tax on sodas and 8% tax on processed food which contains more than 275 calories per 100g. This has helped in reducing consumption of these food items to a large extent. Advertising regulations have been passed in which bans have been placed on promoting food and beverages on radio and TV during the hours when children are the main audience. Children are being exposed to the nutrition-related advertisement to educate them about optimum calorie intake and food quality.
It is crucial for the Mexicans to reduce the level of obesity because of it detrimental to the health of the people and a cause of many other chronic diseases.

How to Resolve Obesity

The most promising obesity treatments in Mexico to conquer obesity typically is weight-loss surgery otherwise known as bariatric surgery. Bariatric Surgery in Mexico is a great choice for those who lack insurance coverage, or who don’t have insurance in the first place.

Obesity Rankings

Obesity in Other Countries


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