The Fattening Burden of Type 2 Diabetes on Mexicans

Projections from early growth to adulthood

  1. Arturo Jiménez-Cruz, MD, PHD and
  2. Montserrat Bacardi-Gascon, MD
  1. From the Medical School, Department of Nutrition, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, Baja California, Tijuana, Mexico
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Arturo Jiménez-Cruz, Medical School, Nutrition Av. Tecnologico 14418, Mesa de Otay, Baja California, Tijuana, Mexico 22390. E-mail: ajimenez{at}

In Mexico, diabetes is the first cause of adult nonobstetric hospital admissions and hospital mortality and the third cause of mortality nationwide (1). Its overall prevalence increased from 8.8% in 1993 to 11.4% in 1999 (2). This was particularly marked, rising from 6.6 to 14.4% among the southern states of Mexico, which have the highest prevalence of undernutrition and the largest population of Mexican Indians (2). More drastic increases in type 2 diabetes are expected to occur over the next decades for the following reasons.

First, obesity, which is a high risk factor for type 2 diabetes, is also increasing rapidly in Mexico. In fact, between 1993 and 2000 the prevalence of overweight and obesity increased from 55 to 62% among adults (3,4) and between 1989 and 1998 the prevalence increased from 77.8 to 79.9% among 35- to 64-year-old men and women in the low-income Mexico City urban population (5). In addition, in a recent nationwide nutrition survey a 27% prevalence of overweight and obesity was found among children (6). Furthermore, this surge in childhood obesity has been associated with reduced physical activity and consumption of foods and drinks that are high in energy density (6). It was found that at …

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