There is no question about it: diabetes is the number one health challenge in Mexico City. We have a lot to do, from encouraging healthy lifestyles, to supporting treatment which can avoid some of the tragic complications. Diabetes is today the primary cause of death across the country. Cities Changing Diabetes is an important contribution to tackling diabetes in Mexico City. For the first time, people leading some of the city’s most impactful initiatives are coming together to share and learn.
Alcalde Miguel Ángel Mancera Espinosa, Former Mexico City Mayor
Mexico City’s metro system is one of the world’s busiest, with >4 million users daily1
Mexicans drink a combined 3.6m canned drinks every day2
Mexico City is the 8th best city in the world for street food3
One of the great megacities of the world, Mexico City is in the
clutches of a diabetes epidemic. Currently an estimated 2.3 million
people in Mexico City have diabetes4, a crisis that is
fuelled by the city’s increasing rate of overweight and obesity.5
Reducing obesity: an opportunity for change in Mexico City
Without action, the increase of adult obesity in Mexico City will continue along current trends. However, if weight distribution were to remain at 2017 levels and we could reduce the rate of obesity by 25%, Mexico City would see 700,000 fewer cases of type 2 diabetes and save 669 million dollars in healthcare expenditure by 2045. 6
In 2014, Mexico City became the first city to join the Cities
Changing Diabetes programme. Research highlighted socioeconomic
vulnerabilities and revealed that numerous barriers, including lack of
resources and trust in institutions, can prevent engagement with
To make care more accessible, the partnership established a diabetes
clinic in an underserved area of the city and expanded an existing
maternal health programme to reach individuals who are at risk for or
who have diabetes. These efforts seek to improve the quality of care
by addressing identified vulnerabilities, focusing efforts on
health-promoting policy and strengthening the health system.
2. Vergara-Castaneda A, Castillo-Martinez L, Colin-Ramirez E, Orea-Tejeda A. Overweight, obesity, high blood pressure and lifestyle factors among Mexican children and their parents. Environ Health Prev Med. 2010;15(6):358–366.
4. Cities Changing Diabetes. Diabetes Projection Model, Mexico City. Data on file. Novo Nordisk. In: Incentive, ed. Holte, Denmark 2017.
5. Barquera S et al. Cities Changing Diabetes: Diabetes mellitus representative survey in the Federal District: Quantitative component. National Institute of Public Health, Mexico; 2015.
6. UNDESA. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. World Urbanization Prospects, the 2014 Revision, Highlights. 2014. 978-92-1-151517-6.