Mexico Surpassing America in Obesity

America first? Not in obesity, says a new U.N. report that documents Mexico surpassing America in obesity prevalence among the world’s most populous countries. With an adult obesity rate of 32.8%, Mexico has taken a slim lead over the U.S. rate of 31.8%.

Speaking on behalf of the Obesity Society, Margarita Teran-Garcia commented on this news:

This increase in obesity among the Mexican population could be a result of a combination of factors, including genetic and environmental. In general, as many as 35 percent of Mexican young adults may have a genetic predisposition for obesity.

The environment in Mexico, and in the US, could also be a primary contributor to this increase. As more Mexicans move into urban communities, they tend to reduce exercise and eat a diet of more unhealthy, highly caloric foods. This is often seen among less affluent Mexicans, who have limited budgets and restricted access to healthier fare.

Another spokesperson for the Obesity Society, Martin Binks, provided a broad perspective:

As Western culture permeates the globe, we see increases in obesity rates. Our metabolic profile is not really well suited to an environment where physical activity is limited and highly caloric foods are so readily available.

This is one type of leadership that neither Mexico nor America needs.

Click here to read more from the Obesity Society, here to read more from ABC News, and here to read the new U.N. report.

Doña Juanita, a Seri indian medicine woman; photograph © Tomás Castelazo / Wikimedia

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