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62% of Costa Ricans are Overweight

Costa Rica News – It seems those gallo pinto breakfasts are catching up with the waist lines of Costa Ricans.  

Muffin-Top-lady-300x234The average body mass index and weight to height ratio of a person has been studied globally and it was found that the average Costa Rican is overweight. The BMI index is meant to indicate the level of risk there is to one’s health based on his size.

The ideal BMI reading is between 20 and 25. Anything over that is considered overweight. The Tico average BMI is 26.5, with 62% of the country’s population overweight. In ‘96, only 46% were overweight.

The study was done as part of a global report by the World Health Organization. Similar worrying figures were found throughout Central America. The problem occurs in men and women at about the same rate in Costa Rica.

Some causes for being overweight could be poor diet and physical inactivity. Many of us eat too much fat, sugar and sodium and too few fruits and vegetables. A separate study by the CCSS showed that 60% of Ticos are sedentary, putting them at risk for chronic diseases.

For example, Costa Rica has the highest rates of diabetes (10.5% of adults) and hypertension (31.5%) on the Isthmus.

Other factors also play into this study.  Jobs that used to be tending the fields are now sitting in offices.  The fact food world has taken over Costa Rica and there seems to be a McDonald’s on every corner.  

All of these things add up to a fatter society. If Costa Rica wants to be more like the USA in this manner they are well on their way.

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