Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk is setting out to redraw the geographical map for diabetes treatments. Historically the company—which commands roughly half the world market for insulin—has focused its efforts on Europe and Asia, leaving much of the Americas to Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly & Co. However, Novo Nordisk Chief Executive Lars Rebien Sorensen feels that strategy has left the company underrepresented in two major markets where Type 2 diabetes is rampant: the U.S. and Mexico. Mr. Sorensen aims to correct that imbalance. “For us, the United States is interesting because Lilly used to dominate the industry,” the 59-year-old executive said in an interview Friday in Mexico City, pegging his company’s share of the U.S. insulin market at 30%-plus versus just 20% a decade ago.
When Alva Alvarez gets sick, she buys over-the-counter medicine from the grocery and takes as much as she can until she feels better. The mother of five resorts to this because she can’t afford a visit to the doctor to figure out what’s ailing her.
Although scenarios like this are supposed to disappear as millions of Americans become newly insured under the national healthcare law, Alvarez’s situation isn’t likely to improve and could get worse. The San Bernardino resident represents the biggest — and mostly invisible — group of people left out of the Affordable Care Act: immigrants in the country illegally.
Concerned by this, state Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) proposed Jan. 10 that such immigrants be allowed to get health insurance through a program such as Medi-Cal.
Los Angeles Times, 10/24/2013
Mexico has blocked imports of Foster Farms chicken from three Central California processing facilities linked to an outbreak of salmonella. The Mexican government told the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday that it was removing from its list of approved exporters two Foster Farms plants in Fresno and one in Livingston, where the poultry company is headquartered.
The blocked three plants were identified by the USDA as the likely origins of a salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 338 people across the U.S. since March.
Irma Lopez, a Mazatec Indian, waited to receive attention at a medical clinic in Oaxaca, but her labor pains became overwhelming. Spurned by the nurses, she retreated outdoors — and abruptly gave birth to a baby boy on the hospital lawn.
A few days later, it was revealed that two other pregnant indigenous women had also been turned away from Oaxaca hospitals, one of whom also delivered on the lawn, and that a fourth woman had been forced to have her baby on the reception floor at a hospital in Puebla.
La noticia se extendió como reguero de pólvora: “México le quita el título de más obeso a Estados Unidos”, tituló un medio internacional. “Cómo México engordó tanto y ahora es más obeso que Estados Unidos”, anunció otro. Todos los medios citaban el último informe de la FAO (Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura), titulado The state of food and agriculture 2013.
Allí, escondido en un cuadro en la página 77 (en la sección anexos estadísticos), está el dato. Bajo la columna “Prevalencia de obesidad entre adultos”, se indica: Estados Unidos: 31.8%; México: 32.8%. El problema es que, en la misma columna, se indica que las cifras son de 2008.
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 on the globe.
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.”
Thousands of naked cyclists have ridden through the streets of Mexico City to mark the World Naked Bike Ride. The event is to raise awareness of the importance of cycling for exercise and as a way to reduce fossil fuels. Organisers say riding naked also highlights the fragility of the human body and the need for drivers to be more careful on busy city streets. The movement began nine years ago in Canada and has been held every year in various cities around the world. Traffic in Mexico City came to a standstill as onlookers stared in amazement or took photographs of the cyclists – naked or semi-naked – streaming past some of the city’s most famous landmarks. The rally ended in Zocalo Square.
Correspondents say that although the city has introduced a series of bike-friendly policies, millions of vehicles clogging the streets every day make cycling a serious challenge. One cyclist, named only as Mila, said stripping off was the best way to get their message across. “In Mexico it is a nightmare to ride a bicycle,” she said. “It’s almost as if you don’t exist, you are a ghost.” Fellow cyclist Yovana Floyd added: “We fear going out every day and not knowing if we will return to our homes.” Mexican media estimates that about 300 cyclists took part in the demonstration.
Despite the well-known advantages to breast milk and vigorous campaigns around the world championing breast as best, Mexican mothers say the bottle is better. In a dramatic decline over the past six years, today only one in seven mothers in Mexico breast-feeds exclusively in the first six months, the standard recommended by the World Health Organization. That leaves Mexico with nearly the lowest level of breast-feeding in Latin America.
Experts call it a public health crisis for a country where millions still live in extreme poverty, dirty water threatens the health of many families and education is poor. Mother’s milk is richer in nutrients and antibodies that protect newborns from infections. Mexico has the highest infant mortality rate among the world’s 40 largest economies. Between 2005 and 2010, breast cancer deaths increased twice as fast as Mexico’s female population, with some experts blaming declining rates of breast-feeding; studies show it cuts a woman’s risk of cancer by 50 percent or more.