Tag Archives: Mexico

Mexico Outweighs United States in Most Obese Ranking

We are no longer number one, in obesity rankings that is. Mexico is now the most obese populous nation, with about 33 percent of Mexican adults being overweight, compared to the United States at nearly 32 percent. Both figures are alarming as both nations are battling growing obesity rates every year. According to experts, in the last ten years childhood obesity rates have tripled in Mexico. The same experts warn that four out of every five of obese children will remain overweight into adulthood.

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The cause of the growing obesity rates isn’t all that surprising. “As more Mexicans move from rural to urban communities they become more sedentary and they eat a steady diet of unhealthy, highly caloric foods,” said Martin Binks, an obesity researcher and spokesperson for the Obesity Society in an interview with ABC News. This shift to a more sedentary lifestyle is affecting much of the world’s population.

World Health Organization statistics show that more than 20 percent of the world’s population is overweight, with 65 percent of the global population living in countries where being overweight or obese kills more people than being underweight. Though Mexico ranks highest of the populous countries, there are several small Pacific Island countries with obesity rates well over those of Mexico and the U.S. combined. American Samoa is the heaviest country in the world with 75 percent of its population considered obese and 20 percent considered overweight.

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Obesity Rates Rising for Hispanics and Mexican Americans

With the United States’ Hispanic population growing in number, it is becoming increasingly important to focus on the health and well-being of that community. Obesity is an epidemic concerning all Americans, but it is an especially concerning one for Hispanics and Mexican Americans who collectively have an obesity rate of about 40%, according to the CDC.hispanic

This high rate can be attributed to many factors. Several studies have shown the strong correlation between poverty and obesity. The CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report for 2011 found that the greatest racial/ethnic disparity in income and education existed for Hispanics. That there is a higher likelihood for obesity in a lower income situation can be found in both men and women.

However, adults are not the only members of the Hispanic and Mexican-American populations with significantly higher obesity rates. The rate in children is alarmingly high as well – about 23 percent of Hispanic children compared to the 16 percent rating of their Non-Hispanic white counterparts. Reducing obesity in children is particularly important as being overweight at a young age can lead to a litany of health issues. (more…)

The Mexican Obesity Crisis is a Growing Health Concern

Mention the country of Mexico, and odds are, the first area of concern that comes to mind is the raging drug war. But Mexicans are facing a new and growing crisis, one that has claimed four times as many lives as the drug wars. You might be surprised, though, especially if you learned that the enemy could very well be a big cup of icy cold Coke.

Obesity was virtually unheard of in Mexico a short 30 years ago, but the changing times have created a different face for the country. A recent study, published by CNN.com, shows that Mexico has surpassed the United States as the country with the highest level of obesity. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reports that 69.5 percent of the Mexican population aged 15 and older is overweight or obese.

The United Kingdom was ranked first for the European countries.

Similar to the U.S., the obesity levels are high in the very youngest of age groups. Four-and-a-half million children between the ages of five and 11 are overweight. The Mexican government has noticed the crisis and in 2010 instituted an initiative urging its citizens to drink more water, increase their fruit and vegetable intake and get more exercise. Many school districts have jumped on board and outlawed junk food inside their doors. The rest of the city has been slow to follow, though, and many parents report that their children can purchase junk food as soon as they leave the school grounds. (more…)

Mexico Schools Offer Healthier Snack Options to Children

The beginning of the year marked a turning point for schools in Mexico. In order to fight childhood obesity, a soda ban and new food guidelines were put into place. Unfortunately, the new food rules are proving to be too relaxed for the taste of some officials.

Mexico is among the most obese countries in the world and children are far from exempt in these statistics. To put it into numbers, one out of every three children in Mexico is overweight.

Schools in Mexico do not provide school lunches, but food and snacks are sold at recess. After long and painful negotiations with junk food moguls, officials stepped in to mandate what type of foods are allowed to be sold. Although considerable improvements were made, there is still a great need for change. Chips, candy and cookies continue to be readily available for children to purchase during school hours. After school, the situation worsens beyond the reach of the newly-set standards. Vendors eagerly wait outside for the throng of students to come pouring out. Nachos, ice cream and various confections tempt the children after a long day in class.

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Best Yoga Vacations Around the World

Relaxation is probably the number one reason why we go on a vacation- and stress reduction is one of the most popular reasons why people turn to yoga. So what happens when you combine the calming effects of yoga with the tranquility of a beach resort? A very memorable, peaceful and healthy vacation.

Thanks to the rise of yoga, a complete yoga-inspired culture has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry. So it should come as no surprise that where we choose to go for some rest and repose also has some space for sticky mats, incense and vegetarian fare.

For those who want to stay in the country or for those who want to venture abroad, when it comes to taking a yoga vacation, you have a tremendous number of options available to you.

Here are some of the hottest destinations for a yoga vacation. (more…)

Swine Flu Facts and a Little Fun

Decorated Swine Flu mask in Mexico City. (via Telegraph.co.uk)

Decorated Swine Flu mask in Mexico City. (via Telegraph.co.uk)

Is there any possible way to have some lighthearted fun when faced with a deadly flu, even with the threat that it could turn into a pandemic? Well, some people in Mexico have decided to laugh in the face of danger with decorated flu masks.

If you’re busy like me, and haven’t had the time to fully understand the mystery that is the swine flu threat (now called H1N1 by WHO), CNN has a handy Q&A to get you up to speed. Here are a couple of important highlights:

  1. You shouldn’t be panicking. Yet. (more…)

The Mexican Obesity Crisis

Those of us in the U.S. are reminded of our country’s obesity problem nearly every day, but rising obesity rates are not uniquely American. In fact, a few years back, there was a phrase coined by the World Health Organization (WHO) to identify a worldwide epidemic – globesity.obesity

We only have to look at our neighbors to the south to see that we are not alone. Mexico ranks right up at the top with the U.S. in the worldwide rankings of the most obese countries on the planet. In fact, the country’s Health Secretary, Jose Cordova, has expressed his concerns about the impact of his country’s growing diabetes epidemic. Pfizer’s launch of its Exubera inhaled insulin product in Mexico last year shows that there is a real demand, and a real obesity problem.

There is a growing polarization in worldwide nutrition. That is, there are the millions of starving people in third world and developing countries, and then there are the more than one billion overweight adults, at least 300 million of whom are obese.

In a country that has a significant issue with poverty, it seems to baffle the mind to think that Mexico could be amongst the heaviest populations in the world. According to the World Bank, extreme poverty has been cut from about 24 to 17 percent of the general population and from 42 to 27 percent in rural areas. This is accounted for by an expanding economy, boosted largely by free trade agreements such as NAFTA. Not to mention an estimated $20 billion that is remitted from Mexican workers in the U.S.

Economic issues still come into play. British newspaper The Guardian reports that 80 percent of Mexican schools don’t have access to drinking water. This is made up for by substituting soft drinks. Mexico is one of the world’s largest consumers of sugary carbonated drinks.

So maybe it comes as no surprise that companies like Pepsi and Coca Cola are trying to step in and play the good guys by advocating healthier living through exercise with school kids. Don’t expect them to plop down any money to help find ways to get clean water in schools.

Figures from a 2006 national survey stated that more than a quarter of Mexican children between five and 11 are too heavy – a 40 percent increase since 2000. It also revealed that 72 percent of Mexican adults are now over overweight or obese, which is slightly higher than in the U.S. That’s one statistic that Mexico would prefer not to compete with us on.

Check out Shaq’s Family Challenge to learn more about getting your entire family in shape- no matter where you might call home.

Bikini Bootcamp… in Mexico?

Tulum, Mexico….I’ve never been but I’ve ran across hundreds of brochures and announcements for spa-like retreat vacations. From yoga on the beach to six-days of detoxing amid white sandy beaches and crystal blue water, what could be more divine? Maybe losing some weight as you bask in the sun and snorkel?Bikini Bootcamp

We’ve all heard of Bikini Bootcamp, the diet right? What about an actual Bikini Bootcamp getaway where for one week you get in shape, eat great and get a tan. Not bad, huh? I love the idea, especially since the 2008 bikini season is just weeks from kicking into full gear. Flamenco workouts, silent morning walks on the beach, scenic hikes, meditations and of course low-fat, low-cal yummy meals are just some of the daily activities that you keep you busy as you get trim.

You gotta admit, living in such a glorious setting, even if just for one week, serves as such a massive impetus to lose weight and get in shape. It’s tough to muster up the motivation to knock off some pounds when you’re wrapped in wooly sweaters and turtlenecks and your only exposure to the outdoors is when you get in and out of the car to go to work, the gym or the grocery store.