Photo: Overweight Hispanic
Clothing manufacturers and designers in Mexico have all been receiving the same request recently, “More clothing in sizes large and extra large, please.” This request makes an alarming point: Many Mexicans are obese.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, CNN reports that 69.5 percent of the Mexican population 15 or older is overweight or obese, the highest percentage in the world.
Upon release of this information, the Mexican government launched a campaign in 2010 urging its residents to exercise, drink more water, and eat fruits and vegetables.
“Since 1980,” said President Calderon, “The percentage of overweight or obese Mexicans has tripled.”
While many school districts in Mexico have banned junk food in their facilities, around 4.5 million children between 5 and 11 are already overweight, partially because right outside the schools are junk food stands readily available as the children leave.
Adding to the government’s concern is a report from Mexico’s Institute for Public Health that says the number of overweight and/or obese school-aged children increased from 18.4 percent in 1999 to 26.2 percent in 2006. The report also stated that diabetes, which obesity greatly contributes to, is now the number one cause of death in Mexico.