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Coronavirus could hit Mexico’s high obesity, diabetes rates

/ 05:55 PM March 26, 2020

Lourdes Sanvicente, 45, left, and a coworker wear protective face masks at the direction of the stand’s owner, as they sell tamales, sandwiches, and pastries at a street stand in Mexico City, Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Sanvicente, who doubts the existence of the new coronavirus, says both she and her husband work as street food sellers, together earning 320 pesos (around $13.50) per day to support themselves and their five children. “There is no other option,” she says, “I have to provide for my kids.” (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

MEXICO CITY — The coronavirus pandemic could be especially deadly in Mexico because of the country’s high rates of obesity and diabetes, a coalition of consumer and health advocacy groups has said.

The Alliance for Food Health said in a report that four of the first five coronavirus deaths in Mexico involved people with diabetes.

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Mexico has the highest diabetes rate in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and one of the highest obesity rates, with 72.5% of adults overweight or obese.

Paulina Magaña, a researcher for Consumer Power, said Mexico’s 11 million diabetes cases “make this scenario a petri dish for COVID-19,” the disease caused by the virus.

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Experts said underlying conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity can make health outcomes far worse for coronavirus patients. For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks.

Abelardo Ávila, a researcher at the National Institute for Medical Sciences and Nutrition, said, “The majority of the deaths that will occur in Mexico during the current epidemic will be associated with the serious problem of obesity.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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