A new report by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization has found that Mexico has surpassed the United States as the world’s fattest nation, with about 70 percent of its citizens being overweight or obese.
The report found that Mexico has a 32.8 percent adult obesity rate, surpassing the U.S. rate of 31.8 percent.
Nearly one in six Mexicans suffers from diabetes, which kills roughly 70,000 people a year, the Global Post reported Monday. The U.N. organization blames the increase in industrialized agricultural production for the obesity epidemic.
“The same people who are malnourished are the ones who are becoming obese,” Abelardo Avila, a physician with Mexico’s National Nutrition Institute, told the Post. “In the poor classes we have obese parents and malnourished children. The worst thing is the children are becoming programmed for obesity. It’s a very serious epidemic.”
Childhood obesity also tripled in the last decade, with about a third of the country’s teenagers being fat. Experts say four out of five of those teens will remain heavy their entire lives, the Post reported.