According to a recent publication by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), Mexico is the world leader in its combined overweight and obesity rates among adults, with over three-quarters of the population over 15 suffering from one of these two conditions (Mexico News Daily 2017). To make matters worse, Mexico’s obesity rates have been gradually on the rise over the past forty years. Obesity reduces both the quality of life and the life expectancy of individuals by putting individuals at higher risk for developing chronic illnesses.
As an emerging economy, Chile has greatly increased its GDP while making significant improvements in their Human Development Index, including reduced infant mortality and reduced malnutrition. Obesity and other dietary risk factors have replaced these traditional health issues and become the number one health concern in Chile. This phenomenon is known as the “nutrition transition,” and is a problem that often accompanies economic growth and trade liberalization due to shifts in the food market.
Millions of Latin Americans struggle with obesity, an epidemic that has hit this region with a stronger impact than most others in the developing world.
Much attention has been given to the fact that both the World Cup and Olympics are being held in Brazil and for good reason, they showcase the hosting country on the international stage. The sporting events allow the host country, and even the surrounding region to a lesser extent, the ability to put its best foot forward and signal its growth, stability, and good governance. While these two mega-events receive international attention, they are not the only international sporting events that take place in South America.