Obesity robs Mexicans of 20% of healthy years

The Ministry of Health has warned that if the obesity and overweight epidemic is not stopped, it will affect 90 percent of Mexicans by 2025. Obesity is the main risk factor that causes the Mexican population to lose more years of healthy life, said Ruy López Ridaura, a researcher at the National Institute of Public Health (INSP).

According to INSP analysis, 20 percent of healthy years lost in Mexico are due to this cause.

“This includes both conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and all other complications of obesity,” said the expert, who reminded that in our country 70 percent of people are overweight or obese, which is a problem that is directly related to the development of diseases .Chronicles.

Such is the effect of the epidemic of overweight and obesity that, he said, the possibility has even arisen that the current generation of children could have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

By participating in the panel “Control of the obese environment: a strategy to promote a healthy lifestyle”, within the framework of the 5th Latin American Conference and the 4th Inter-American Conference on Health Promotion and Health Education held in our country, López Ridaura
pointed out that although the immediate cause of weight problems is an energy imbalance
Between what is consumed and what is consumed, obesity is also determined by the environment.

“The causes of obesity have this ecological part, that is, certain environments that are
they promote unhealthy lifestyles or prevent people from accepting or choosing healthy lifestyles,” he pointed out.

Alejandro Calvillo, director of the organization El Poder del Consumidor, agreed with him, who pointed out that the obesity epidemic, which affects slightly more than 4.5 million school-age children, is not the sum of bad individual decisions, but an obese environment.

“The priority is putting the entire population at a lower risk, changing the fat environment, that is, the food they consume, and regulating advertising. “For example, we called schools fat factories.”

In this context Lizbeth Tolentino Mayo, researcher of medical sciences at the Center for
INSP’s nutrition and health research highlighted the importance of implementing a
unique labeling, taking into account the criteria of the World Health Organization (WHO),
limiting the levels of saturated and trans fat, sugar and salt, but above all, ensuring
adequate and easy-to-understand information for consumers.

“To provide clean, clear and consistent labeling of healthy food information and to encourage the recommendation of products to achieve compliance with the healthy profile suggested by experts.”

The benefits to the consumer, he said, are that it would be an SSA-approved stamp, allowing the consumer to make quick decisions, without any confusion. The three panelists agreed that this would be the first step to move to green, yellow and red traffic lights.

A growing evil

According to the Ministry of Health (Ssa): Excess body weight (overweight and obesity) is currently recognized as one of the most important public health challenges in the world, given its size, rate of increase and the negative effect it has on the health of the population that suffers from it, because it significantly increases the risk of contracting chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

In response to the rise of this epidemic, the World Health Organization (WHO),
promoted the Global Strategy for Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Health for
prevention of chronic diseases, which Mexico joined in 2004.

Today, Mexico ranks second in the world in obesity prevalence, after the United States. Such a high prevalence of overweight and obesity represents a priority public health problem that requires the implementation of a national policy that recognizes the multifactorial origin of the problem.

The epidemic entails significant costs for the public health system, for the sustainability of the pension system and for the economic and social stability of the population, especially the poorest sectors.

Currently in Mexico, ten million 358 thousand 637 children and adolescents between the ages of five and 19 who are overweight or obese are at risk of developing or already suffer from diabetes, cancer or hypertension.

From 2007 to 2010, diabetes killed 306,817 Mexicans. Today, more than two-thirds of deaths that occur in Mexico are the result of chronic non-communicable diseases, 80 percent of which could be avoided. In Mexico, between eight and ten percent of premature deaths are caused by the consequences of obesity.

The Ministry of Health has warned that if the epidemic of obesity and overweight is not stopped, it will affect 90 percent of Mexicans by 2025. Today, our country allocates 190 billion pesos for the treatment of chronic diseases, which is half of the total budget of public health institutions.

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