Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mexico: A fifth of all women and more than a quarter of men are believed to be at risk for diabetes

Diabetes is already Mexico’s No. 1 killer, taking some 70,000 lives a year, far more than gangster violence. Somewhere between 6.5 million and 10 million Mexicans now have diabetes. Since tap water in Mexico is unsafe, and public drinking fountains rare, most Mexicans swill a sugary drink with their meals. The average Mexican consumes 728 eight-ounce sugary drinks from Coca-Cola per year, an average of two a day, far more than the 403 eight-ounce drinks that are consumed per person annually in the United States. A 2012 federal health and nutrition survey found that 64% of men and 82% of women in Mexico were overweight or obese. Obesity levels in Mexico have tripled in the past three decades. Mexico now has higher obesity rates among children ages 5 to 11 years than any other country. According to a 2012 health survey, 34.4% of children in Mexico are obese. The comparable figure in the United States is 16.9%, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

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