A very targeted message on the importance of including beef and pork in a balanced diet hit the mark last year in Mexico. The country has an extremely high rate of obesity and weight-related health issues.
The U.S. Meat Export Federation Mexico conducted 119 seminars in 2008 that provided health professionals with nutritional information on U.S. beef and pork. These one-hour seminars included a 30-minute presentation from a physician or cardiologist, a 20-minute presentation from a dietitian and a 10-minute presentation from a chef in conjunction with a tasting session of U.S. beef and pork. The target audiences were health professionals, including physicians, nurses, dietitians, nutritionists and college students in the health field, and housewives with children.
From a total population in Mexico of 110 million people, 24.4 percent are obese and another 35 percent are overweight. In addition, 6.5 million people have diabetes while between 35 and 37 million people are at risk to get diabetes type 2, which can be regulated with a healthy diet and exercise.
USMEF compared U.S. pork lean cuts, such as loins or legs to chicken breast, and showed that these pork cuts have less cholesterol and fats than the chicken cut.
“These seminars are a good example of USMEF efforts in Mexico to be a good corporate citizen by working to improve the health of Mexican citizens,” said USMEF. Mexico is currently the largest foreign market for U.S. beef and beef variety meat, importing 339,137 metric tons (747.7 million pounds) valued at $1.2 billion in the first 10 months of 2008. Mexico is also the third-largest foreign market for U.S. pork and pork variety meat, with imports of 307,056 metric tons (676.9 million pounds) valued at $550 million in the first 10 months of 2008.