Journal of Public Health Policy

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 407–428 | Cite as

The fight against overweight and obesity in school children: Public policy in Mexico

  • Alejandra Jiménez-Aguilar
  • María del Carmen Morales-Ruán
  • Nancy López-Olmedo
  • Florence Théodore
  • Jessica Moreno-Saracho
  • Lizbeth Tolentino-Mayo
  • Anabelle Bonvecchio
  • Mauricio Hernández-Ávila
  • Juan A. Rivera
  • Teresa Shamah-Levy
Original Article


Excess weight in schoolchildren is a serious health problem in Mexico. In 2010, the government established General Guidelines for Dispensing or Distribution of Foods and Beverages at School Food Establishments (SFEs) in Elementary Schools with the objective of stopping the epidemic of overweight and obesity. This study aimed to evaluate compliance with the Guidelines during two academic years. With a sample of 39 schools already randomly selected, we carried out a follow-up study. The research team recorded foods and beverages available at schools in two academic years, and compared their nutritional characteristics to those established in the Guidelines. At the schools in both stages of the study, we found broad availability of energy-dense foods not allowed in the SFEs. Vegetables, fruits, and plain water accounted for less than 7 per cent of the foods and drinks. We observed no changes between stages in the compliance the Guidelines.


nutritional guidelines food and beverages schools public policy Mexico public health 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alejandra Jiménez-Aguilar
    • 1
  • María del Carmen Morales-Ruán
    • 1
  • Nancy López-Olmedo
    • 1
  • Florence Théodore
    • 1
  • Jessica Moreno-Saracho
    • 1
  • Lizbeth Tolentino-Mayo
    • 1
  • Anabelle Bonvecchio
    • 1
  • Mauricio Hernández-Ávila
    • 1
  • Juan A. Rivera
    • 1
  • Teresa Shamah-Levy
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Nutrition and Health ResearchNational Institute of Public Health (INSP by its Spanish acronym)CuernavacaMexico

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