Childhood Obesity in Mexico: A Rising Trend

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Mexico is now facing the problem of a dramatic rise of childhood obesity among the younger population, and accompanying this dilemma are the various health risks that the younger population are at stake to suffer because of the extreme weight these children are bearing.

According to the President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, Mexico had its highest recorded obesity rates among children who age 5 to 19 years old across the whole globe. This is considered an alarming health issue which the majority of children in Mexico are suffering. Considering that majority of the population of Mexico is composed of the younger generation which is amounting to about thirty-nine (39) per cent of the total population. Most of them are composed of teenagers who are obese, which is about 38 per cent of the total population of the younger ones.

The significant increase in the number of obese children are brought about by several factors which may include eminent selling of foods with very high caloric contents such as junk foods and soft drinks in the campus premises. In addition, it was noted that most of the public schools do not have any playgrounds which can be used by the children for exercise.

Hence, the government of Mexico is already doing its measures in order to address the problem. In public selling of junk foods and soft drinks were already banned. Widespread awareness regarding the problem is also an important move to inform the people that it is already a bothering health issue; families are now encouraged to enroll their child in various health programs such as exercise program, and healthy eating program which can help these children balance their weight and achieve a healthier lifestyle.

“Any efforts to improve the school environment are very important to combat the epidemic,” said Chessa Lutter, a regional adviser on food and nutrition for the Pan American Health Organization.

In addition, childhood obesity is not just the main problem; this also includes obesity among the adults. Both populations are in need of help in order to lessen this bothersome health problem that Mexico is facing. The government of Mexico is now doing its strategies which target first the majority of the population – the younger generation.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term effects. Some of these effects include risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure, and greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States of America recently issued guidelines to schools and community programmes to promote lifelong physical activity habits among young people. The guidelines include recommendations to ensure high quality and effective physical activity programmes and are based on the following key principles:

  • Emphasise enjoyable participation in physical activities that are easily done throughout life.
  • Offer a diverse range of non-competitive and competitive activities appropriate for different ages and abilities.
  • Give young people the skills and confidence they need to be physically active.
  • Promote physical activity through all components of a coordinated school health programme and develop links between school and community programmes.




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