Obesity continues to rise. Obesity continues to rise.

MX is world leader for overweight, obesity

Nearly three-quarters of Mexicans suffer from one of the two

Mexico is a world leader for its combined overweight and obesity rates among adults, according to a report published yesterday by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD).


Almost three-quarters of the population aged over 15 suffers from one of the two conditions with 33.3% considered obese and 39.2% overweight, the annual Health at a Glance report said.

While Mexico has the worst combined rate of the 35 OECD member countries, the United States beat it to the top spot for obesity with 38.2% of its population suffering from that condition.

Still, the figures are worrying and show that obesity in Mexico has increased by 3.3% over the last 10 years.

“Obesity means higher risk of chronic illnesses, particularly hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases,” the report said.

At 15.8%, the rate for diabetes in Mexico is the highest among OECD countries and more than double the average rate of 7%.

Obesity is reducing both the quality of life and life expectancy of Mexicans, the report said, although it also recognized that some progress related to public policy has been made on the issue.


The so-called sugary drink tax or soda tax that increased the cost of popular beverages, labeling that contains greater nutritional information and improved regulations surrounding the advertising of food to children were all cited as steps forward in the battle against the problem.

The first year after the soda tax was introduced, a 5.5% reduction in consumption was recorded followed by a further 9.7% drop in the second year with families of low socio-economic status shown to be the most likely to change their consumption patterns.

Life expectancy of about 75 years is lower than the average of 80 across OECD countries, the report said, adding that while the average life span has increased significantly since the 1970s, the rate of growth has slowed since the year 2000.

The obesity figures in this latest report are certain to cause concern both among policymakers and the general population, but it also contains some encouraging signs for public health here.

Daily tobacco use has fallen and at 7.6% is well below the average rate across OECD countries, where it stands at 18.4%, while average per-capita alcohol consumption at 5.2 liters annually is also below the OECD figure of nine liters per person per year.

Mexico’s health care expenditure lags behind other nations, however, with just 1,080 pesos (US $56) spent annually per person compared to 4,000 pesos (US $208) per person on average in the OECD. Out-of-pocket payments by households make up over 40% of all health spending in Mexico, over twice the average rate.

The OECD report said that is essential for Mexico to improve its health care system because it is plagued with inefficiencies and fragmented, meaning that the level of care and prices offered to patients can vary significantly.

However, the OECD warned that it’s not just a matter of allocating additional funds to the system in order to improve it but ensuring that those funds are spent wisely.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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  • alance

    An estimated 6% of Canadians suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome and one in ten Americans display the symptoms. In Mexico that figure jumps to a whopping 35%.

    IBS is extremely debilitating and is related to a poor diet and obesity. Prevalence rates in women are approximately 1.5- to 3-fold higher than those in men.

  • Colleen

    Overweight is bad. I was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes and put on Metformin on June 26th, 2016. I started the ADA diet and followed it 100% for a few weeks and could not get my blood sugar to go below 140. Finally i began to panic and called my doctor, he told me to get used to it. He said I would be on metformin my whole life and eventually insulin. At that point i knew something wasn’t right and began to do a lot of research. Then I found Lisa’s diabetes story (google ” Lisa amazing diabetes ” ) I read that article from end to end because everything the writer was saying made absolute sense. I started the diet that day and the next morning my blood sugar was down to 100 and now i have a fasting blood sugar between Mid 70’s and the 80’s. My doctor took me off the metformin after just three week of being on this lifestyle change. I have lost over 30 pounds and 6+ inches around my waist in a month. The truth is we can get off the drugs and help myself by trying natural methods

    • BB

      There you go, Colleen. You’re on the right track. It’s got to be a lifestyle change, not simply a diet.

  • Commander Barkfeather

    This will not be a popular opinion, but I think human beings are simply being morphed by their environment. We used to have to hunt for our food, or harvest, or at least prepare it. Now we simply whip out the Visa and order a pizza. We used to play baseball, now we watch it on ESPN. And finally, we have Madison Avenue who would have you believe that a Diet Pepsi will somehow make up for that sheet cake you ate for breakfast.

  • Mike S

    One of the serious draw backs of NAFTA was the opening of huge Mexican markets for US produced processed junk food and high-fructose laden food products. Obesity and type 2 diabetes in the US is epidemic and it has now been exported to Mx. Also, Mexican beef used to be a lot leaner grass fed variety but now beef is being fattened by very cheap imports of US tax-payer subsidized Monsanto GMO feed corn. High fructose corn sugar is shipped south by the tanker truck. People are fat in Mx but it’s hard to believe that it’s worse than what I see all over the US.

    • BB

      Then it’s gonna be up to the Mexican government to educate its people. The manufacturers of junk food are all looking for profit. The doctors don’t know anything about nutrition, so they can’t help. And yes, looking at people walking around in Anytown, Mexico, I can believe the statistics are correct.

      • Mike S

        Amazingly, in Europe and the Ukraine I rarely see obese people. Don’t know how accurate these studies are, but from my anecdotal observations, it’s neck and neck for the first place obesity prize between US and Mx. In many countries restaurants are required to at least put calories on their menu items. I try and avoid grocery items with bar codes and always read the ingredients but so many sugars and carbs are disguised. Any industry that promoted transfats for 50 years and carcinogenic sweeteners has no morals whatsoever. The total health costs of obesity is staggering. Only government financed education is going to be able to stop the Sarah Palins of this world. The tax-payer subsidized Korn farmers and their fructose factories need to be stopped.

        • BB

          In total agreement with you. About 15 years ago it was difficult to find a fat person in China. Now they’ve adopted the western dietary lifestyle. It’s much easier to spot overweight Chinese now.

      • Mike S

        The American “medical-industrial-complex” is all about “crisis” medicine like heart bypass surgery and treating chronic conditions like cancer and diabetes with expensive meds forever. They are not into nutrition or preventative medicine because there is no money in it. Most on the right would view doctors and government preaching nutrition and healthy lifestyles as government interference and losing our freedom. The fast-food, junk-food, and King Korn lobby would not allow that. How free is an obese person needing dialysis? Americans over 40 have a 40% obesity rate at a tremendous cost to society and taxpayers. These typical Red Bull and Coke type beverages are poison in a can…as bad as smoking if you get hooked on all that caffeine and sugar.

        • BB

          ” How free is an obese person needing dialysis?”
          Ha ha ha! Never thought of it that way, but you’re so right.

  • Fester N Boyle

    The Americas are the source of the world’s corn. Mexicans and Americans alike are often much like their corn fed cows.

  • DreadFool