Obesogenic factors and environments contributing to rising rates of obesity in Mexican children
Mexico has one of the highest youth obesity rates worldwide currently at 34% of all children and adolescents. This problem is rapidly worsening in Mexico with drastic consequences. There is limited understanding of the factors driving the rapidly increasing rates in Mexico. An understanding of determinants is critical to developing interventions, health programs and policies to effectively take on the crisis.
A recent review in Global Health Action set out to compile, describe, and analyse dietary conditions, physical activity, socioeconomic status, and cultural factors that create and exacerbate an obesogenic environment among Mexican youth. The authors approached this through a narrative review conducted across scientific databases and governmental reports.
The findings revealed a multitude of contributing factors including reduced healthy meal options at public schools, high rates of sedentary lifestyles among adolescents, lack of open spaces and playgrounds, socioeconomic deprivation, false or misunderstood sociocultural traditional beliefs, misconceptions about health, a high percentage of overweight or obese adults, and low rates of maternal breastfeeding. The factors identified are exacerbating the obesity problem in this population. From this evidence it is apparent that the average Mexican child is surrounded by a multitude of obesogenic factors driving rising rates of obesity. Measures to control these factors is drastically needed to stop continuation of the escalating rates.