Diabetes is “the most serious public health problem faced” by Mexico, where 10 million people currently suffer from the disease and the number is expected to double by 2020, the El Poder del Consumidor consumer advocacy group said.
The situation is the result of “the lack of implementation of prevention policies to fight the epidemic of overweight people and obesity in Mexico” due to the “submission of federal and local authorities to the interests of the food industry,” the non-governmental organization said in a statement released to mark World Diabetes Day on Monday.
“Neither the federal government, local (governments), legislators, nor presidential candidates have made any proposals to fight the most serious public health problem faced by the country,” El Poder del Consumidor said.
Diabetes is “the leading cause of hospitalizations, blindness, loss of limbs and death” in Mexico, where the number of overweight and obese people has soared in recent years, the NGO said.
The spread of the chronic disease “has exceeded the capacity of the public health sector” to deal with it, threatening the “national finances and viability of the Mexican population,” El Poder del Consumidor said.
“Currently, more than 150,000 people require dialysis, a service that is not covered by Social Security. We estimate that 75 percent of those needing dialysis cannot afford it and are either dying or creating a financial crisis for their families,” the NGO said.
Diabetes can lead to heart problems, strokes, reduced blood circulation, blindness and kidney failure.
World Diabetes Day is observed on Nov. 14, the birthday of Canadian researcher Frederick Banting, who discovered insulin with Charles Best in 1922