A recent report by the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS) indicates that if current trends continue over the next ten years, the percentage of the Mexican population considered overweight (BMI between 25 and 30) or obese (BMI over 30) could rise as high as 90% by 2018.
Although the press release indicates the percentage of Mexico’s population that is overweight or obese places it second only to the US in that category, that ranking may change soon if it has not already. The 2006 Encuesta Nacional de Salud y Nutrición placed that figure at nearly 70% for adults over age 20 in Mexico, compared with 66% for US adults over age 20 published in NCHS’s 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
In the IMSS press release, specialists from the Department of Nutrition & Dietetics at the IMSS’s Centro Médico Nacional La Raza indicate that globalization has brought to Mexico not only lifestyle changes, but also changes in nutritional habits:
“We are suffering a dietary transition, in which we are changing our nutritional habits, leaving aside the traditional diet, which was based on grains, corn and … giving way to the culture of fast-food diets,” confirmed nutritionist Dr Georgina Nanclares Delgado.
Dr Rosa María Andrade García said Mexicans’ diets are becoming more and more like those of industrialized countries like the United States and China. At the same time, sedentary lifestyles are becoming strongly prevalent. “This transculturization is affecting us, we are taking on behaviors of other countries which really bring a certain type of diet which harms us, consuming large quantities of energy [calories], proteins and supersaturated fats, but with little fiber, vitamins and minerals,” she indicated.