Currently, Mexico has a pandemic larger than the covid 19. The country is second only to the United States in obesity in the world, and it’s first in child obesity. Obesity is known to lead to heart disease, hypertension and high cholesterol.
These illnesses weaken the immune systems and have created serious complications with covid 19 patients worldwide, specifically in the United States and Mexico.
Mexico’s death records show that 80% of covid-19 deaths were patients who had one of the five illness: hypertension cholesterol, debates, heart and liver disease.
Mexico’s Healthcare Department was shocked by these decent revelations and alerted Mexicans to eat healthy and consume less junk food to strengthen the immune system, in order to be better prepared for the coronavirus pandemic.
This plan to improve Mexicans Health sounds as an amazing achievement to the protection of human rights to healthcare, until the junk food industry got wind of the plan, and immediately started crying wolf with concerns of potential profit loss.
Several spokespersons for the industry have explained that during the covid 19 crisis, they prefer profit over people, and asked the federal government of Mexico to stop promoting healthy diets.
As outlandish as this might sound, that’s exactly what is happening right now in Mexico. And, of course, president Lopez obrador has no intention to back off with the plan.
But how did Mexico and the American junk food industry get to this point?
Coca-Cola and Pepsi began venturing into indigenous markets during the 1980s, and launched a large campaign to convince religious leaders of the “benefits” of consuming the sugar drink, explained June Nash in the article published in Cultural Anthropology in 2008. During the same time the U.S installed the neoliberal economic model in Mexico, creating an explosion of corruption that allows lax regulations for Coca-Cola and Pepsi to extract water, leaving entire communities without water.
After the first Free Trade Agreement of 1994, two million Mexican farmers went bankrupt because they couldn’t compete with the United States industrialized agriculture industry. Then a wave of American food-like products inundated the food markets in Mexico.
Sugar drink companies, like PEPSI and Coca-Cola in particular, marketed their products at a spectacular rate, in that the companies were successful at convincing people that sugar drinks were as good as drinking natural juices.
The very well executed marketing campaign was delivered to millions of Mexican indigenous who currently consume sugar drinks as if it were water. In fact, some of these sugar drink companies established factories in states like Chiapas, and appropriated almost all the water available to many communities resulting in many protests, demanding revocation of Coca-Cola’s FEMSA concession. In San Cristobal De Las Casas, Chiapas, Coca-Cola extracts 612 cubic meters of water daily: 16 million liters of water, a quantity sufficient to provide water for 2,000 people with 80 liters of water per day, for an entire year!
This left residents of those areas with nothing else to drink but the factories’ beverages, causing child obesity and a tremendous Health crisis. (Chiapas, for example, is the state that consumes the most Coca-Cola most in the world. It is estimated that Coca drinkers in the state drink 2.25 liters daily).
The sub-Secretary of Health, Dr. Hugo Lopez-Gatell, Mexico’s version of Dr. Fauci, visited Chiapas this week, and in a press conference, he explained that sugar drinks have literally become poison in a bottle for many indigenous communities and local residents.
The Pepsi subdivision in Mexico FEMSA launched a campaign against Lopez-Gatell, accusing him of trying to hurt their bottom line.
Regardless of the Industries’ ruffled feathers, the government has already launched the health campaign to reintroduce organic drinks and fresh Mexican dishes back into people’s kitchens.