The number of people in Mexico being diagnosed with diabetes is growing at an alarming rate, according to new official figures.
Speaking at a diabetes meeting in Mexico City earlier this week, Mexican Health Minister Mercedes Juan Lopez said more than 10 million people in the country, or around 10% of the population, has diabetes.
The figure marks a 100% rise in the diabetes incidence since 2000 and means Mexico has the sixth-largest diabetes population in the world.
Health experts believe the growing rate of diabetes is being driven by a suspected genetic predisposition toward the disease, combined with sedentary urban lifestyles and poor diet.
The latter is highlighted by the fact that consumption of fizzy drinks per capita is higher in Mexico than in any other country, and that around 70% of the population is considered overweight.
Ms Lopez said the rise in new diabetes cases represents a “true public health emergency”, but revealed that plans are being made to tackle the disease and reduce diabetes prevalence.
According to the Minister, the government is developing a national strategy to prevent diabetes and its serious complications, such as kidney failure, via education and early detection.
It spends a minimum of $800 million a year just on treating people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but now plans to invest a further $350 million into diabetes prevention programmes over the coming years.

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