Ideas that add up #93

In a chapter titled “Mexicoke”, Boseley paints a bleak picture of the role the company plays in Mexico’s status as the world’s most obese nation: …Seventy percent of Mexican women are now overweight or obese. Mexicans drink an astonishing amount of sweet drinks: 163 litres a year each…nearly half a litre per person per day. Dr Juan Rivera, the director of the Mexican National Institute of Public Health, draws a plain conclusion. “In Mexico, about 23 percent of total energy comes from sugar-sweetened beverages and junk food,” he says, noting that he thinks that figure is an under-report.

Who controls 70 percent of the drinks market in Mexico? You guessed it: Coca-Cola, as Boseley tells us.

Erica Wagner’s review of Sarah Boseley’s The Shape We’re In: How Junk Food and Diets are Shortening Our Lives (FT 16/8/14)

Half a litre – say two regular kitchen tumblers of sweetened drink per day, for every man, woman and child in that nation of 130 million souls. Fizzy drinks, “juice drinks”, iced tea and coffee drinks. Most of it supplied by a single American corporation, still furiously pitching its products to people – to children above all – in Mexico and almost everywhere else in the world.

Way to go, Coca-Cola!

Meanwhile, adding insult to injury, Hollywood sneers at Mexicans for their risible English pronunciation and a daft mariachi-and-guacamole culture. Case in point: Despicable Me 2, which I watched on DVD with the children at the weekend. This CGI film has for its villain a crassly cretinous Mexican, obese and unctuous, wearing ridiculous facial hair and bulging from a too-tight costume. A vulgar national stereotype deemed suitable for children.

It seems to be the colonialist way, whether military or commercial: exploit and abuse the other lot for your own lot’s financial gain, then mock the victims.

Way to go, USA!

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