Mexico is in the first place on the overweight list

Nearly a third of Mexican adults are obese. A recent United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization report says, topping even the United States, which comes in a close second at 31.8%.

Mexico heads the list of the world’s most overweight industrialized nations.

The United States has long been a fixture atop the chubby list.

The culprit? High-calorie, low-cost, processed foods and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle as Mexican incomes rise and more people move into metropolitan areas.

The danger, according to the World Health Organization is an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, degenerative joint diseases and some cancers.

The obesity epidemic is a double whammy for Mexican children, who can be both malnourished and overweight.

“They are exposed to high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt, energy-dense … foods, which tend to be lower in cost but also lower in nutrient quality,” the World Health Organization reports.

It’s a growing problem — and not just for Mexico. Since 1980, obesity rates worldwide have doubled.

In 2008, more than 1.4 billion adults were overweight and 500 million were obese.

The solution is simple but not always easy to accomplish, especially as nutritional options are limited in many parts of the world.

The WHO recommends:

Limiting your intake of fats and sugars
Increasing consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts
Engaging in regular physical activity: 60 minutes a day for children and 150 minutes per week for adults