Tratados de Libre Comercio y Obesidad

La imagen anterior fue tomada del artículo de News and Views de Nature, aparecido el 7 de Abril de 2011, y muestra como la ingesta de grasa puede llevar a la enfermedad cardíaca.

Mi buen amigo, Gerardo Martínez Borrayo, recomendó a los integrantes de su lista de correos, un buen libro, El Mono Obeso, del español José Enrique Campillo Álvarez, pero que hace la insinuación de que la obesidad que padecemos a nivel global esta basada en la evolución, y que ni modo somos gorditos, así nos toco vivir.

Por supuesto que tiene razón evolutiva el autor, en cuanto a la propensión de los humanos a ser obesos. Sin embargo, como suele suceder, al determinismo le sigue el azar.

Ese Azar lo asocié, en el caso de México, con la firma del tratado de libre comercio, es decir, a partir de los años 90, se dispararon las cifras de salud pública de obesidad en nuestro país, y ¡zas!, que se enciende el debate, que bueno que así sea, es divertido y enriquecedor.

A continuación, muestro algo de lo solicitado por encendidos tertulianos:

1) Primero esta nota de aparecida en Julio de 2009:

Mexico’s NAFTA Generation Faces Morbid Obesity

New America Media, Commentary, Louis E.V. Nevaer, Posted: Jul 16, 2009 Review it on NewsTrust
Editor's Note: Mexico now has the second highest incidence of morbid obesity in the world, behind the United States. The culprit is NAFTA, writes NAM contributor Louis E.V. Nevaer.

MERIDA, Mexico -– In less than a generation, Mexicans have gone from a nation of relatively healthy people to a nation confronting an unprecedented health crisis: morbid obesity. The culprit? The NAFTA diet.

Before the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, in 1994, Mexicans had a wholesome diet consisting of beans, tortillas, chicken and fruits and vegetables. These were prepared at home or in small restaurants called “fondas” (market stalls) by street vendors. Almost always, these meals were “slow food” -– soups, tacos, sauces and regional dishes were made from fresh ingredients, and prepared over the course of several hours.

In the 15 years since NAFTA, however, Mexico has been “invaded” by globalized, highly processed foods served by such fast-food conglomerates as McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.

The health crisis confronting Mexico is the rapid escalation in morbid obesity throughout society, affecting every demographic group in the nation, even the poorest.

A survey by Mexico’s health ministry revealed that one in four Mexican children between the ages of five and 11 is morbidly obese.

In a recent study, “Obesity: The Epidemic of the 21st Century,” health researcher Federico Siguero argues that “obesity is the most frequent illness among (Mexican) children, followed by diabetes.

“If this trend continues, there will be no government (administration) that will have the resources to treat all of the obese (Mexicans), who will suffer from diabetes, hypertension or another complication,” he stated.

This is reaffirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO), which now labels Mexico the nation with the second highest incidence of morbid obesity in the world, behind the United States. “Risk factors such as being overweight and obesity have increased (in Mexico) in all groups of society, mainly in urban areas, affecting 51.8 percent of women between the ages of 12 and 49 (60 percent in the northern part of the country) and 5.5 percent of children under five,” the WHO reported in its current country profile for Mexico.

The public health crisis precipitated by the change in the Mexican diet is causing alarm among politicians. Mexico is confronting an unprecedented strain on its national health system. Since NAFTA, “there’s been a greater consumption in fats, fried foods, carbonated soft drinks and fruit drinks that contain high levels of sugar,” Tomas Gloria Requena, a deputy in Mexico’s Congress, complained.

“The lifestyle changes –- in both food, level of stress and decreased physical activity, all part of Mexico’s transition to a ‘global economic integration’ are responsible for changes that are detrimental to the health of the Mexican population,” Enrique Salazar, a health care provider, noted. “According to the WHO, 67.9 percent of Mexican men and 68.4 percent of Mexican women are overweight.”

By comparison, 72.6 percent of American men and 75.6 percent of American women are overweight.

Many Mexicans blame global conglomerates, and the failing of their own government for contributing to the health crisis. “In many rural communities," Salazar added, "the government does not provide potable drinking water in the schools, and as a result, children end up drinking soft drinks instead.”

Mexicans drink more soft drinks per capita than any other people in the world, except for Americans.

“We must reduce the number of soft drinks consumed by children and at-risk adults,” added Jorge Quintero Bello, a legislator from the conservative PAN party. “IMSS (Mexico’s Health Ministry) must launch a comprehensive public education campaign.”

The change in the Mexican diet, however, is only one part of a complicated equation. In the course of implementing NAFTA, Mexico has sought greater coordination with both the United States and Canada. This has meant, among other things, aligning Mexican hours to the U.S. daylight and saving time changes, which, for a nation that lies closer to the equator, means more hours in school and at work. More importantly, Mexico, after a heated debate, officially abolished the siesta -– the traditional midday closing of businesses for three or four hours to allow people to go home and share meals with their families. As a consequence, working “9 to 5” means that home-prepared meals are for the majority of Mexicans a thing of the past, and the “super-sized” fast-food alternative is just around the corner.

“I see it every day,” Salazar continued, “children given money to buy a ‘Happy Meal’ and stressed out mothers who can only think of serving a Pizza Hut pizza for dinner. Over time, the junk food takes its toll on the body.”

If Mexico hoped that NAFTA would be a ticket to becoming more like the United States, it may have gotten its wish. One of the unintended consequences of the trade agreement has been to make Mexico a nation in which morbid obesity has become a national health crisis –- just as it has with its neighbor to the north.

Louis Nevaer is a contributor to NAM whose new book, "Managing Hispanic and Latino Employees," will be published in December 2009.

2) A continuación la confirmación de  la Organización Mundial de la salud de que la obesidad en México se ha incrementado dramáticamente, acercandose a la de nuestro vecino del TLC, Estados Unidos de Norteamerica:

3) Referencia donde se hace notar que la dieta mediterranea es un objetivo a seguir:

International Journal of Obesity (2011) 35, 251–258; doi:10.1038/ijo.2010.130; published online 6 July 2010
A Mediterranean diet pattern with low consumption of liquid sweets and refined cereals is negatively associated with adiposity in adults from rural Lebanon.
C Issa1,2,3, N Darmon1,2,3, P Salameh4, M Maillot1,2,3, M Batal5 and D Lairon1,2,3 1INRA, UMR 1260, ‘Nutriments Lipidiques et Prévention des Maladies Métaboliques’, Marseille, France 2INSERM, ERL1025, Marseille, France 3Univ Aix-Marseille 1 & 2, Faculté de Médecine, IPHM-IFR 125, Marseille, France 4Faculty of Public Health II, Lebanese University, Fanar, Lebanon 5Nutrition Program, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Correspondence: Dr D Lairon, INRA 1260/INSERM ERL1025 Nutriments Lipidiques et Prévention des Maladies Métaboliques, Faculté de Médecine, 27 Bd Jean Moulin, 13385 Marseille cedex 05, France. E-mail: Received 23 November 2009; Revised 13 May 2010; Accepted 16 May 2010; Published online 6 July 2010.

Background: The beneficial impact of the traditional Mediterranean diet pattern on adiposity is still under debate, and this has never been assessed in a developing Mediterranean country.
Objectives: To assess the relationships between adherence to a traditional Mediterranean diet and adiposity indexes, that is, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC), in a sample from rural Lebanon.

Design: A sample of 798 adults, aged 40–60 years, was selected in continental rural areas of Lebanon for a cross-sectional study. The questionnaire included socio-demographic, anthropometric and dietary sections. The daily consumption frequencies of selected food groups, categorized as positive or negative components, were calculated based on a food frequency questionnaire. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was assessed using six a priori scores; including the widely used Mediterranean diet score (MDS). Associations between diet scores and BMI and WC were assessed.
Results: Overall, the diet of the study sample only partially matched the traditional Mediterranean diet. A total of 17.0% of men and 33.7% women were obese. The MDS was negatively associated (P<0.05) with WC, but not BMI, in men and women. The constructed composite Mediterranean score combining positive components of the diet (whole cereals, vegetables, legumes and fruit, olive oil and fish) and negative components adapted to this sample (refined cereals and pastries, and liquid sweets) was consistently and negatively associated with both BMI and WC for men and women in multivariate models. A 2-point increase in that score was associated with a decrease in BMI of 0.51 and 0.78 kg m–2 and a decrease in WC of 2.77 and 4.76 cm in men and women, respectively.
Conclusion: The results demonstrate that a Mediterranean diet is negatively associated with obesity and visceral adiposity in a rural population of a developing Mediterranean country.

Keywords: nutrition; developing country; body mass index; waist circumference; scores; Mediterranean diet International Journal of Obesity