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Report: Mexico's obesity rate inches past U.S.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 9:51 p.m.

Mexico has overtaken the United States as the fattest country on this half of the globe, CBS News reports.

With a 32.8 percent adult obesity rate, Mexico just inches past the 31.8 percent obesity rate in the United States, according to a study released last month by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization.

According to a new report from the United Nations, nearly 70 percent of Mexican adults are overweight, and childhood obesity in the country has tripled within the past decade, Medical Daily reported.

One-third of Mexican teenagers are also obese, and experts believe that four out of every five obese children will remain overweight for the rest of their lives.

Overall, 32.8 percent of Mexican adults are considered obese, compared to 31.8 percent of adults in the United States.

Nearly 70,000 deaths in Mexico each year are caused by weight-related diabetes, and more than 400,000 new cases of diabetes are diagnosed annually.

That makes Mexico the most obese country in the hemisphere and one of the fattest countries on the planet. According to the FAO's data, which dates from 2008, several Pacific Island countries and territories have even higher obesity rates. Nauru (71.1 percent), the Cook Islands (64.1 percent) and the Marshall Islands (46.5 percent) all boast obesity rates well above those found in either Mexico or the United States.

The problems caused by obesity are causing a public health crisis in Mexico, with children growing fatter and adults increasingly dying from heart disease and diabetes.

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