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.”