Oaxaca is a primarily indigenous state in southern Mexico with a population of approximately 3.3 million. It is among the poorest states in Mexico, with high levels of food insecurity. Some 27% of Oaxacans suffer from food scarcity and 36% of children are undernourished (CONEVAL, 2010).
On the other hand, Mexico is suffering a crisis of obesity, with 32.8% adult obesity and even higher rates of childhood and teenage obesity. It seems paradoxical that this crisis of obesity exists at the same time as food insecurity.
The root of this paradox is a food system based on processed foods that lacks nutritious and diverse offerings. Malnutrition and obesity reinforce each other; malnourishment during early childhood represents an 8 to 12 times greater chance of developing obesity in later life.
Rural community’s dependence on imported processed foods is one of the principal causes of malnutrition. That’s why it is so important to increase family’s access to quality, local, and diverse food offerings.