Monday, March 14, 2011

School Food: Mexico Faces Same Issues as United States

While the United States tries to improve school food in an attempt to tackle childhood obesity, Mexico finds itself in a similar boat, according to an article in today’s New York Times.

Similar issues seem to be at play in both countries, including bureaucracy, corporate interests and kids' already-developed palates.

"By all measures, Mexico is one of the fattest countries in the world, and the obesity starts early. One in three children is overweight or obese, according to the government. So the nation’s health and education officials stepped in last year to limit what schools could sell at recess. (Schools in Mexico do not provide lunch.)

"The officials quickly became snared in a web of special interests led by Mexico’s powerful snack food companies, which found support from regulators in the Ministry of the Economy."
Soft drinks have been removed from schools, though, and fried foods have been drastically reduced.

But the battle has just begun, since, according to the article, “Dr. José Angel Córdova, Mexico’s health minister . . . estimates that one-third of Mexico’s health care spending goes to fight diseases related to obesity.”

Click here to read the entire article.

1 comment:

Molly said...

What an absolutely fascinating article. I had no idea the school lunch problems we have in this country were difficulties elsewhere.