How Mexico Got So Fat

Dudley Althaus, Global Post, July 8, 2013

Modern Mexicans’ urban lifestyle, rising incomes and myriad consumption vices have fed a seemingly endless struggle that’s killing thousands more of them each year.

Yep, we’re talking the desperate Battle of the (body) Bulge.

Even as nearly half its people are poor and as officials launch a national anti-hunger campaign, Mexico by some accounts recently has replaced the United States as the chubbiest of the globe’s larger countries.

Diabetes and cardiovascular ills spike, plus sizes cram clothing racks and Mexicans keep eating, eating, eating. While cutting across class lines, the crisis disproportionately hits the poor and the young, malnourishment and obesity stalking them in tandem.

“The same people who are malnourished are the ones who are becoming obese,” said physician Abelardo Avila with Mexico’s National Nutrition Institute. “In the poor classes we have obese parents and malnourished children. The worst thing is the children are becoming programmed for obesity. It’s a very serious epidemic.”

About 70 percent of Mexican adults are overweight, a third of them very much so. Childhood obesity tripled in a decade and about a third of teenagers are fat as well. Experts say four of every five of those heavy kids will remain so their entire lives.

Weight-related diabetes claims the most Mexican lives each year, with nearly one of every six Mexican adults suffering from the disease. {snip}

Diabetes alone kills as many as 70,000 people a year in Mexico—roughly equal to the deaths authorities say are caused by more than six years of the country’s gangland wars.

More than 400,000 new cases are being diagnosed every year.


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  • Spartacus

    “In the poor classes we have obese parents and malnourished children.”


    Make the children eat the parents – problem solved !

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    “The same people who are malnourished are the ones who are becoming obese,” said physician Abelardo Avila

    This is one of the biggest lies of the PC era, that you can be “malnourished” and obese at the same time. This is a redefinition of the word “malnourishment” from the time of the Great Depression and before, where it meant someone who was clearly gaunt and weak looking. This is similar to the paradox of someone being “poor” and yet having plenty of money to support a drug habit.

    If anything, these obese people are over-nourished. Look closely and you will see that this is always done to shift the blame from the obese person to someone else. These Mexicans are obese due to the large amount of aid and other money coming from the US.

    • willbest

      That isn’t entirely true. Your body can be cannibalizing its muscles and bones while you continue to stock garbage into your fat cells.

      • Tim_in_Indiana

        I don’t buy it: muscular development is a result of genetics and exercise, and nutritionists tell us that almost everyone gets enough protein from the meat they eat.

      • kjh64

        Yes, but if they have the money to stock garbage into their fat cells, they have the money to eat better. I’ve been to Mexico and living in a border state with plenty of them here, they are not malnourished, trust me.

  • willbest

    I think there was a riot a few years back because the price of corn was too high. Perhaps less grains might be in order.

    • Anglokraut

      Most humans benefit from eating fewer grains and more vegetables. The tough part is learning to identify a grain. I just lost 30 lbs. on HCG, and I’m in the maintenance phase of the diet now–IOW, I’m retraining my body to keep this new, lower weight. Part of this lesson is that there are no carbs at all for six weeks. I miss corn, but corn is not a veggie, but a fast-pass to a ten pound weight gain, with plenty of bloating and gas. No thanks!

      • Wethepeople

        Corn and wheat are dietarily worthless, but grow readily. This is why they fill so much of our countries diet.

        • They’re calories; that’s all. Carbs get broken down into sugars quite quickly. Some of the cereals contain trace nutrients and useful amounts of fiber, but the heavily processed versions don’t even contain much fiber by the time the consumer gets them.

          • MawellAxel

            If one consumes a tablespoon of vinegar while eating starches then the rate of conversion is greatly slowed. It is interesting that in traditional chinese cuisine that pickled vegetables are almost always consumed with the rice. The acids in the pickled vegetables slows the conversion and therefore the rise in blood sugar, then one also get’s the benefits of the minerals in the vegetables. “traditional” foods almost always have a sound basis behind them, even if it must have come from intuition. Another example: eating salty things when drinking helps prevent dehydration that alcohol causes, and what is traditionally served with alcohol?Salted peanuts.

          • Salted peanuts, or pretzels, or in some places pickled hard-boiled eggs.

  • Surely this is somehow all the fault of us Gringos, and has nothing whatever to do with the greasy, starchy fried food Mexicans enjoy.

  • kjh64

    Mexico more obese than the US? Well, I guess they don’t need to come to America to “feed their families”, do they?

    • I’d like to watch a few 350-pounders try to make it across the desert in August.

      • The__Bobster

        All you would find would be a few puddles of sizzling grease.

  • So CAL Snowman

    The Mexicans might want to mix in a salad every now and again. You would think that a country that grows so much fruit and vegetables might think about eating them occasionally.

    • It turns out that stuff is not only really good for you, but it’s also cheap. Big seedless watermelons at Wal Mart were $5 last weekend. Every autumn when pumpkins get cheap, I always buy one to use for pumpkin soup. This is more an Australian dish (that’s where I first encountered it), but with garlic and a lot of pepper, it’s very good, and it costs almost nothing to make.

      • MawellAxel

        Watermelons are very high in fructose, that is not good for anyone.

        • They’re 6%. Oranges are 9%. Excessive fructose consumption can cause fatty liver disease as well as gout, but a reasonable intake of fresh fruit is in no way comparable to the fructose intake most Americans receive from soft drinks; Since Daily on May 27, 2005 reported that sweetened soft drinks are the main source of calories in the American diet.

          Anyone who ate so much fresh fruit that fructose from them became their main source of calories would quickly stop, due to the uncontrollable diarrhea that would result from the enormous fiber intake. Don’t worry about fresh fruit.

          • MawellAxel

            Research is showing that any fructose is bads. It turns on the “fat” switch. It is a survival mechanism. It is only bad in modern times . In the days of old, a layer of fat helped one through the winter. The winter was a time when no fructose nor starches were available and one was essentially on a “ketogenic” diet. The unfortunate thing is that once the fat switch is turned on then your body will convert glucose into fructose. So anytime you have a rapid rise in blood sugar, much of it gets converted by your liver into fructose.Fructose also cause many more advanced glycogen end products than glucose and it damages the mitochondria, essentially reducing their number. This is also part of the survival mechanism. If calories are short, less mitochondria means a lower resting metabolism. This is what helped our European ancestors get through the winters. They would put on fat in the summer when fruits and starches were available. Today, starches, sugars and fructose are always available. Epicatechin, a bioflavinoid found in cacao will increase the number of mitochondria in muscles. I can attest to this. My number of reps in the gym-endurance- has increased to youthful levels after taking powdered cocoa, NON ALKALI- look at the ingredients, twice a day along with acetyl-l-carnitine.

    • IstvanIN

      They defecate in the field so maybe they are leery of eating vegetables they harvest.

    • MawellAxel

      Salad dressing is made with vegetable oils. They are the SINGLE worst calamity to the American health ! Vegetable oils are polyunsaturated fats. and PUFAs have wreaked more havoc than anything else ever foisted on the American consumer. Did you know that a diet devoid of PUFA’s will prevent and even REVERSE cirrhosis of the liver, and that is even if a person keeps drinking?!!!!! Did you also know that they lead to very high rates of cancer? Did you know that the ONE change that occurred in the twentieth century that caused cancer rates to go from almost non existent to sky high was the replacement of Saturated fats with PUFAs. Yes, this is HERESY. But it is the truth, YEs, doctors of a certain persuasion have been telling you the opposite for years…….. you do the math.


      • Correct about the cancer.

        The worst single case of industrial poisoning in history was in Spain, when some shady types sold industrial-grade rapeseed oil as olive oil to unsuspecting customers; thousands of people died. Rapeseed oil is massively unsaturated. In organic chemistry, a saturated hydrocarbon is one that has no double or triple bonds. These are relatively inert. An unsaturated hydrocarbon does have double and/or triple bonds, and these are chemically quite reactive. They form free radicals rather easily, and free radicals are potent carcinogens. Keep that in mind when you see a product that boasts of its high content in polyunsaturates.

        Saturated fats (almost always from animals) cause heart disease if over-consumed, especially in conjunction with excessive dietary sodium intake. Perhaps the healthiest fat/oil is olive oil, which is monounsaturated. Canola oil (I have a jug here) doesn’t seem too bad; the label on the back says it is 7% saturated, 29% polyunsaturated and 64% monounsaturated. Of the unsaturates, none (0%) are trans.

        • MawellAxel

          The evidence against NATURAL saturated fat is non existent.The studies that claimed Saturated fat as a villain included “HYDROGENATED FATS!

        • MawellAxel

          BTW!!!! Up until the twentieth century the chinese stir fried in LARD!!!! If your wife stir fries in peanut oil or some other vegetable oil get her to stop doing it! Google how to make lard and make it yourself-the store bought stuff is horrible and has Hydrogenated Fats in it. I use it for all my cooking and it is awesome!!!

      • Bossman

        So I should be eating more butter and using coconut oil?

  • Romulus

    Yo chiero taco bell!!!! Holy frijoles!! Who cares!

  • The__Bobster

    Even as nearly half its people are poor …..

    Leftist propaganda. Mexico is the richest country south of our border.

    Mexican DREAMers Pursue Fulfillment at Home
    By Brenda Walker on July 7, 2013 at 12:59pm

    To hear illegal alien demanders talk, you would think that a free trip home to the land of their birth (and citizenship) would be the worst punishment imaginable. In fact, Mexico (the source of the vast majority of intruders) is a wealthy nation (#14 in world GDP), quite well appointed with the basic accoutrements of modern life, and getting better all the time. The growing middle class is now estimated to be 39 percent of the population and its best universities are graduating plenty of engineers to build needed infrastructure.

    We immigration restrictionists want nothing but success for Mexico and points south, so the raza-obsessed inhabitants can speak Spanish all the live-long day at home and never want to leave for El Norte. It’s like the old Vulcan greeting:

    “Stay home and prosper.”

    • kjh64

      No wonder Mexico is doing well, they have handled the problem of poverty by dumping THEIR poor off on OUR country.

  • The__Bobster

    Diabetes and cardiovascular ills spike, plus sizes cram clothing racks and Mexicans keep eating, eating, eating. While cutting across class lines, the crisis disproportionately hits the poor and the young, malnourishment and obesity stalking them in tandem.

    Amerinds are more prone to obesity and it concomitant illnesses.

    • TheAntidote

      A lot of the lardiness is actually genetic. The Amerinds have what’s called the “thrifty gene” in their metabolic-digestive makeup. All humans have the ability to produce and store fat for energy use but the Amerinds are especially good at it. This had to be an evolutionary strategy as there were likely some very lean times when they walked from Siberia to N and S America.

  • Anglokraut

    I’d suggest going paleo, but the paleo diet for an Amerind might actually involve cannibalism.

  • HJ11

    A lot of it is genetic. Young Mexican women are often thin, but when they have babies, their whole figures change, forever.

  • [Guest]

    When comparing Mexicans and Americans, how many Americans are included in the Mexican count? Probably few, if any. But how many Mexicans are in the American count? Could be millions upon millions.

    That might just tip the scales, huh?

    • How many ginormous black women also skew the “American” data? Rachel Jeantel, remember is already 300 pounds at age 19, and black gals her size are a dime a dozen.

      • Juan Outtamany

        at most, I’d only pay five cents per dozen

      • [Guest]

        That’s an obvious point, but I hadn’t thought of it.

        I have thought of this, though: If the “antiracists” employ their usual tactics, they must accuse the fat police of racism given that blacks and Hispanics tend to be overweight more often than white people.

        We all know to be extra, extra careful not to diss a black, but we’ll have to be doubly cautious not to offend a fat one.

  • BigMacAttack365Black

    This post is makin’ me hungry…

    As I understand it, Mexico has like a racial stratification situation goin’ on, with whites at the top, mixed Euro-Indian people being the majority filling out all the middle, and the fuller Amerindian folks and blacks at the bottom…so

    by saying the poor are worst affected, it might really be genetics making the difference, not lifestyle, (well at least partly?)

  • Snow

    Avoid bread?

    • Urban Teacher

      Minimize the consumption of bread, and rice, and potatoes.

    • Urban Teacher

      For more details on this, see: Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health by Gary Taubes (Sep 23, 2008)

      • Bleakvision

        This discussion is hilarious. Why do people in Anglo-Saxon nations think it is all about the diet? Yes, diet is a part of it, but you also need to work with your body and mind, get enough sleep, run or walk outdoors and regularly relax (take a brake from your routines).

        There is no wonder diet to solve all your health issues, but doing all the above things will keep you healthy even if you let your diet or any other aspect slide for a while.

  • I made us salads using “Rio Rancho” tostada bowls the other day. After slathering the insides with refried beans, I added grilled, diced chicken breast, “herb mix” lettuce, sliced chipotle peppers with adobo sauce, diced onion, diced tomato, sliced cucumber, sliced avocado and then topped them with sour cream. Not really overloaded with carbs, but filling, and as you said, delicious.

  • Spartacus

    God damn it, why did Amren delete my post ?

  • mobilebay

    You’ve hit the nail on the head, guest. While my view is not very popular, If I were in the White House for one day, all foreign aid would stop – That money would go a long way into curing our financiial problems. Then, instead of weakening our military, I would put thousands on our southern border. That would stop the invasion immediately. Next day…I can dream, can’t I?

  • Bossman

    Cereals and vegetables? Low biological value? Do you even know what you’re talking about? A good balanced diet should be heavy on fruits and vegetables with small amounts of animal proteins. Blacks and most Latin Americans will get to be bigger and stronger than whites when well-fed. Most of this has to do with genetics and sexual preferences. The biggest and strongest Blacks were brought to the Americas during the days of slavery and many of the Indian tribes were big and tall.

  • evilsandmich

    Many years ago on some PBS show that spoke about weight issues it noted that those of aboriginal descent (I think they spoke specifically of aboriginal Americans, i.e. Indians, but the same would apply to many Mexicans) are particulalry prone to the ills of the western diet since their bodies weren’t made to process such items.

  • Bossman

    Have you never heard of a thing called the diet pyramid chart put out by the government? It recommends that 60% of daily food intake should be carbohydrates in the form of fruits, cereals and vegetables and the other 40% should be a mixture of proteins and fats. As far as I can tell Southern Europeans are still short and stout. When they come to North America their children become taller.

    • Wethepeople

      Case and point – ‘put out by the government’. These are the individuals who want you lazy, slow, lethargic and malleable. This is accomplished via force feeding you lies, and highly processed wheat chaff; void of all nutritional value. Stick to poultry, fish, beans and legumes and you’ll thrive.

      • Bossman

        Poultry, fish, beans and legumes are all good stuff but you cannot eat only that. Animal products should be only a small part of the daily intake.

        • freddy_hills

          I agree with you. People need a diet heavy in fruits, vegetables and whole grains with smaller amounts of fish and poultry. You shouldn’t eat red meat more than a couple of times per week.

  • Anglokraut

    Grim prospect, but I love the sarcasm. Too bad there isn’t any work in my town; I haven’t held a “legit” job in months.

  • Alexandra1973

    You know…a lot of our food nowadays doesn’t have a lot of nourishment, so one eats more to compensate.

    For a while I was chugging raw milk. I didn’t feel the need to eat as much and the weight dropped.

  • John Smith

    They got fat living off the welfare and government jobs. They don’t work for a living anymore.

    • They also tend to be pig-ignorant, so they eat lots and lots of whatever “tastes good”, whether or not it is healthy. I like tortilla chips and homemade clam or artichoke dip, but I’m not about to make a dietary staple out of either these. At age 47 and 6′ even, I weigh 155 lbs, have never weighed over 170, and have had the same 32″ waistline since age 17. I like it just fine this way! (It’s probably saved me a bundle on clothes.)

    • WR_the_realist

      The article is about the few remaining Mexicans who actually live in Mexico. They don’t have much of a welfare system there.

  • MawellAxel

    We need to build a border fence out of twinkies!!!!

  • MawellAxel

    Blacks are almost ALL obese.

  • MawellAxel

    It is the carbohydrates, yes, but it is also the FRUCTOSE!!! AND IT is also the PUFAs -vegetable oils- polyunsaturated fats. The Vegetable oils and the fructose destroy the mitochondria in the cells, that slows down metabolism.

  • Magician

    I know an Italian woman who owns a bakery and she sells each and every possible kind of starchy foods we have ever known. Pizza, pasta, bread….

    Is she chubby? Well not only is she chubby, she probably won’t live a long life because of her abnormal obesity. Her bones will start cracking eventually and her organs cannot function normally with that type of a bodyshape.

  • Irishgirl

    Wasn’t there an article recently that implied that our immigration policy depressed would-be border crossers so much that it drove them to go to prostitutes? Maybe they just can’t stop eating and patronizing “ladies of the night” because the US is just SOOO mean in not letting everyone in. Surely blanket amnesty would solve all their health problems.