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Mexico City Public HealthIt seems like obesity is a hot a topic for everyone these days. However, Mexico is taking proactive steps to solve the problem.

The movement is inspired by four year old Anghella Torres who weights 66 pounds. This is twice the normal weight for her age. However, the four year old is well aware of her weight problem and is working with her grandmother and caretaker to limit the amount of sweets she eats. Unfortunately, not all little girls are as ambiguous as Anghella.

The problem spans across all social classes and is not just an issue with children. Over 70% of Mexican adults are either overweight or obese as well.

Starting this year, pre-schools and elementary schools will no longer offer soft drinks or junk food.  Cafeterias will include more vegetables and low-calorie snacks. Middle school will be required to only sell sugar-free drinks. In addition to food quality improvements, school officials are also increasing the number of physical education hours from one to three hours per week.

Many school officials worry that the efforts will fall sort of expectations as many parents are not supportive and vendors of high calorie snack foods still gather outside schools. However, Chessa Lutter, a regional advisor on food and nutrition for Pan American Health Organization says, “Any efforts to improve the school environment are very important to combat the epidemic.”

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