- Micronutrients, good options to complement nutrition and synthesize fats.
- More than 50% of households in Mexico don’t have access to food that guarantee a correct nutrition: UNICEF.
- In Mexico, 75.2% of adults suffer overweight and/or obesity; 15.2 million suffer from hypertension.
- 3% of children in the ages 1 to 4 consume sweetened beverages not recommended by the Ministry of Health (SSA, for its acronym in Spanish).
The World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Trade Organization published the technical note Suggestions directed to decision makers in Mexico to respond to nutrition vulnerability secondary to COVID.19. In it, the three organizations offer a series of recommendations to mitigate the risk of malnutrition in Mexico as a consequence of the recent pandemic.
In the document published on May 2020, the United Nations and their joined initiatives use the term «malnutrition» to include three conditions related to the absence or excess of nutrients and calories: 1) undernourishment, in which are included low eight regarding size, the delay of growth, and insufficient weight in relation to age, 2) the absence or excess of micronutrients, and 3) overweight and obesity.
In relation to this last point, the FAO highlights comorbidities as a result of obesity and overweight, which represent a higher risk of complications on this population in case of contracting COVID-19.
In this context, previous to the Anti-Obesity Day, Irma Ceja Martinez, M.D. specialized in internal medicine and Medical Manager for Endocrinology and Nutrition at Grupo PiSA®, pointed that “obesity and overweight are the main factors to develop cardio metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension and even some types of cancer; being these the main causes of death in Mexico”.
According to the WHO, obesity worldwide has nearly tripled since 1975. In the year 2016 there were more than 1,900 million adults with overweight and obesity. In Mexico, the Health and Nutrition National Inquiry (ENSANUT, for its acronym in Spanish) 2018, reported that 73% of men older than 20 years present overweight and obesity; while the number for women in the same bracket reaches up to 76.8%
Children and youth are not out of these statistics. 37.9% of children between the ages of 5 to 11 suffer from overweight and obesity. In the population between 12 to 19 years, the number rises to 39.7%.
“To diminish these diseases in our population, it is fundamental to have and adequate education in nutrition and healthy habit; as well as a greater access to foods with high nutritional value” added Ceja Martinez, also Governor of the Mexican Chapter of the American College of Physicians (ACP).
The specialist in internal medicine also explained that there is a gap in information surrounding a correct nutrition, such as healthy eating habits and the accomplishment of prevention and healthcare models in the Mexican population; which absence has increased the rate of malnourishment and its consequences in the development of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD’s).
According to data from the same inquiry, 83.3% of children in the ages 1 through 4 consume sweetened beverages (nondairy), considered a “not recommended” food by the Ministry of Health (SSA, for its acronym in Spanish) or the National Institute of Public Health (INSP). This number doesn’t change a lot in the course of a lifetime, for 85.8% of adults older than 20 years also consume this “not recommended” beverages.
As a consequence of these nutrition habits, 10.3% (8.6 million) of adults in Mexico live with diabetes, 18.4% (15.2 million) suffers of hypertension, and 19.5% presents high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
On the other hand, Karen Cecilia Picazo Huerta, specialist in clinical nutrition and Nutrition Coordinator at Bodylogic (a company of Grupo PiSA®), added that the implementation of an adequate education in nutrition must become a priority for healthcare and medical science professionals.
“The lack of knowledge around nutrients and micronutrients that can only be obtained through foods or nutrition supplements is worrisome. Among these, we can find chrome, which works in the fat and carbohydrates decomposition in our system and which our body doesn’t naturally produce. There is also choline, which helps with memory and mood regulation, as well as muscular control”, mentioned the bachelor in nutrition graduated from UNIVA.
High mortality rates derived by Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD’s) in Mexico, exhibit the population’s need for education, as well as a change in paradigm for the acquisition of nutrients and micronutrients. Regarding this idea, Bodylogic’s Nutrition Coordinator ratified the importance of her own field of study.
“According to data from INEGI, Mexico has 2.4 nutritionist per thousand habitants. This clearly shows the lack of attention to the root problem of Noncommunicable Diseases, such as diabetes and cardiac diseases” expressed Picazo Huerta.
In the same subject, Picazo Huerta invited the population to get information regarding the nutrients that can only be obtained through external sources. For example, in the products of Bodylogic presented in Sinergia 2020, the multilevel company’s annual congress that took place in October; which have nutrients such as chrome, choline, selenium, or hydrolyzed collagen. To get this information, Picazo Huerta suggest to consult a nutritionist for the foods and nutrition supplements that can fit into a diet.
To conclude, Picazo Huerta highlighted that in the crusade for disease prevention “it is fundamental to take into consideration exercise and hydration as part of an adequate model for clinical nutrition.”