In the Land of Carnivores

I come from a nation with the highest rates of obesity, the United States. Where everyone and anyone visits a fast food joint on a regular basis. Surrounded by vegetarians and vegans but STILL known as the “fattest nation in the world”. I am a Mexican-American who enjoys food! All foods…. Mexican, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Indian etc. I now find myself in the land of carnivore’s a.k.a Mexico. I started joking around with friends and family about their eating habits here… yes, it’s all delicious! Tortas ahogadas, Tacos de asada, buche, tripa, chorizo… Birria, Pozole, Menudo, Hot dogs with bacon, Hamburgers, Gringas, Burritas, Pizza, Chamorro! And for a person who LOVES eating, I at many times since my arrival, have had to say no to many of these delicious foods. Why?

I was sitting at the doctor’s office earlier today and as I waited for my name to be called I glanced over at a stack of magazines… “Salud” read a health magazine. I grabbed it and began to read. Flipping through the pages the article on ‘obesity in Mexico’ called my attention. The magazine read…(translation) “The average person is to have 5 grams of salt a day. The average person in Mexico consumes more than 10 grams of salt” This was just one of the shocking facts (I love salt). Another fact, the United States is #1 in obesity and Mexico is #2. Also, 70 percent of the adults in Mexico are overweight.  Millions of people suffer from high cholesterol and diabetes and a huge percentage of these people don’t even know it!

Because I’m not a dietician or nutritionist it had been a while since I read on the issue. To be honest I wasn’t too surprised but what surprised me was the fact that 70 percent of people here were overweight.

I came to Mexico without a car. First time since I was 16 years old (I am now 23) that I was car-less…. So I had to learn to WALK and to use public transportation. The first days I was here were exhausting! People in the city of Guadalajara are so used to walking! So after getting used to walking 5,6,7 blocks on the regular I was like, “wow. People here are in great shape…”. Well that’s not quite true. Because although these people are so used to walking, to running and to being active, it’s not as beneficial if one is consuming greasy foods, salt and abusing the substance of meat! Ever heard the statement, “in the later years of our lives we begin to suffer the bad mistakes we made when we were younger”??? Well now you have!

Because of this statement and because of what I read and observe I decide to pass on these delicious foods that surround me every day and all day here in Mexico! Yes I spoil myself here and there but I am also very aware of the cause-and-effect. It is important to not only watch what we eat but to keep our bodies active! According to a statistic I found on http://www.worldometers.info/obesity/ there are globally more than 1 billion people who are overweight and 300 million of them clinically obese. Since 1980 obesity rates have not doubled, they’ve TRIPPLED. 2012 is around the corner and one of my goals for this coming year is to help educate on the issue! Somehow! I’m getting a head start by sharing this with you… !