Hold on to your quarter pounders, everybody, because a new study from the United Nations has recently declared that America is no longer the most obese country in the world. That’s right, one of our country’s biggest claims to fame has been stripped from our chubby clutches and passed on to our neighbors to the south: Mexico.
According to CBS News, a new study from the UN confirms that, while Mexico is home to millions of malnourished bodies, it has also been recently become the home of even more obese ones.
"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."
America held the title of the fattest country since about March of this year, with news sites like NBC scolding us about how much we ate and how little we cared. Now the tables have turned, though we’re still standing just behind Mexico at the all-you-can-eat buffet. Just under 32 percent of the U.S. population is classified as obese, followed by New Zealand (26.5%), Chile (25.1%) and Australia (24.6%).
The interesting part is that Mexico has such a divide in its population, with almost 50 percent of its people falling below the poverty line. With this statistic in mind, the study found that 33 percent of all Mexicans were obese and a whopping 70 percent were overweight.
Mexican resident Sally Neiman tells the Daily Mail that she’s not surprised in the least. “Because of a lack of money and food, people go for more energy-intense foods,” Sally says. “These are often high in sugar or fat. People drink Coca Cola as if it was water in order to have the energy to carry on - and so many of the foods are rich in carbs, are full of cheese or are fried.”
The general lifestyle landscape in Mexico has also changed so much in recent years. People are working more sedentary jobs instead of physical labor; fried treats such as tamales, tostadas, and tacos — normally reserved for special occasions — have become everyday foods, and any anti-poverty funds that get distributed to impoverished families are usually spent on more of the same unhealthy food.
“In Mexico we say 'Barriga llena, corazon content,’” Sally says, “which translates as: 'a full tummy means a happy heart.' If you eat something delicious you will be very happy. I don't think anyone can argue with that!”
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