15 March 2013

Hungry Planet - Mexico

Here is an average family from Mexico, the Casales, with their weekly food consumption (from the book: Hungry Planet).

You can see their PICTURE here.

This family eats 13.5 kg of food per person, per week:
  • 24% starches (corn tortillas, white bread, white rice, potatoes, pasta, etc.)
  •   4% sweet food (candies, ice cream, etc)
  •   7% dairy (cream, cheese, butter)
  • 16% meat, fish, eggs (chicken, crab, sausage, ham)
  • 24% fruits 
  • 20% vegetables (I included the beans here, but amazingly they do not consume a lot of legumes, around 8% of these vegetables are legumes.)

And here is what they drink (8.2 litres per person, per week):
  • 83% soft drinks and alcohol
  • 17% milk
The soft drinks they consume, contains 0.5 kg of sugar (per person, per week). It is a lot, on top of the sweet and starchy food consumed. This is a high-sugar diet.
"Almost without exception, the Casales' meals were served with Coca-Cola, the family's beverage of choice. In a week's time, they drank more than 20 quarts of it."
If I group the refined carbohydrates and fruits on one side and the dairy, meats fish and vegetables on the other side, here is what we get:
  • 57% starches + sweet foods + fruits
  • 43% dairy + meat, fish, eggs + vegetables

More than half of this diet is processed carbohydrates and sugar, not including the sugar from the drinks.

The mother, the father and the eldest son are overweight. The grandparents (not shown on the picture) are also overweight and have diabetes, except for the maternal grandmother.

The change is quite obvious in this family. The typical Mexican diet includes: tortillas, beans, meat, maybe some rice. Sugar, soft drinks and refined carbohydrates were not part of the traditional diet. This example of difference between traditional and modern diet, can also be seen on the Pima Indians living in Arizona (United States) and Mexico. The majority of those living in Mexico still eat a traditional diet, and the obesity and diabetes rates are much lower compared to their "brothers" living in the United States.

1 comment:

  1. Really interesting reading, enjoying your blog so much :)