Posters Tell a Story

Mexico is a nation in transition—from low- and middle-income to middle- and high-income. As U-M SPH alumnus and former Mexican minister of health Julio Frenk said recently, “Mexico, like a lot of middle-income countries, has been experiencing the most intense health transition in human history.”

In many ways, Mexico is emblematic of what’s known as the “epidemiologic” or “nutrition” transition—a transition that some SPH scientists see as the greatest global health public threat facing the world today. The health issues that Mexico faces daily—as evidenced by these posters inside a rural community health center outside Mexico City—are typical of the epidemiologic transition. Among them are:

  • High rates of diabetes and obesity—often coupled with undernourishment, sometimes in the same family
  • Cancer and other chronic diseases
  • Climate variability
  • Air pollution
  • Water access and quality (and the diseases, such as diarrheal disease, that can occur when water is unclean)
  • Maternal and child health
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Tobacco use

The spring issue of Findings magazine will go into greater detail about these and other topics related to Mexico and the epidemiologic transition. Watch for the magazine in late April!


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