As we noted in a previous post – Soft drinks, obesity, ,diabetes and public health in Mexico – Mexico has one of the highest obesity rates in the world, and public health officials are increasingly alarmed by the rapid rise in child and youth obesity. About one-third of children in Mexico are now classified as either overweight or obese.
A recent news article – Mexico puts its children on a diet – describes initial reactions to a new federal initiative which attempts to improve the diets of schoolchildren. School lunches are almost unheard of in Mexico, but almost all students have access to food during recess or on the way home, whether organized by local parents, or from local stores or school vending machines.
The federal regulations to restrict the kinds of food available in schools met stiff opposition from some soft drinks and snack food manufacturers, who see youthful consumers as a guaranteed path to future success. Most fried foods have now been removed from schools, but the plethora of regulations still contains many anomalies.
The battle of student waistlines may have begun, but the war on childhood obesity is very far from over.