Photos by Jeff Leventhal, except as noted
"The reality is that certain foods have been imposed on the country, while foods produced and nurtured by people according to their cultures and to their real needs are becoming more and more scarce."*
Last November Pop Wuj hosted our annual scholarship assembly for all of our scholarship students and their families. Seventy-nine of the over 130 scholarship students attended the assembly and also had a well check-up at the Pop Wuj Clinic. We checked height and weight, provided vitamins and anti-parasitic treatment, a dental treatment, and full medical consults for any students who were sick.
We used the Body Mass Index, a measure for indicating nutritional status, to determine whether the children and youth were in the healthy range in terms of height and weight.
|Registering with Isabel|
|Ingrid gets weighed|
|Emma, the former General Projects Coordinator, measures Ilcy|
|Dr. Barbara in a consult with Norma, 11 years old|
Of the 27 boys and young men, none were obese, two are overweight, 24 were normal, and 1 was severely thin.
Due to easy access to cheap, packaged, processed, junk food, some Guatemalans are overweight yet malnourished, just like in developed countries like the U.S.
|Oscar waits to be measured|
|Dr. Barbara examines one of our youngest participants|
Photo by Amy Scheuren
|Photo by Amy Scheuren|
To learn more about the nutritional issues facing many of the families we work with and how recent political and economic history has greatly affected their situation, read Free Trade and Mexico's Junk Food Epidemic.
Mexico and Guatemala share some similarities and the trade and investment policies of the last 20 years that have shaped Mexico's current food and health crisis are now also bleeding into Guatemala. The numbers will vary, but the health effects are and will likely be very, very similar over time.
*Free Trade and Mexico's Junk Food Epidemic, http://lab.org.uk/free-trade-and-mexicos-junk-food-epidemic.