According to a recent New York Time's article the police in Mexico City are...a bit corpulent. I daresay I've been noticing during my travels across the country here in the US that the same probably holds true, but this article was about the Mexican police and their spreading waistlines. The problem has become so pervasive, that according to the article the police officers are now having their calories as well as their monthly ticket quotas tracked.
Three quarters of the 70,000 officers on the Mexico City force are now being put on some form of a diet. The most overweight officers are now being asked to consume 2500 calories on their shift instead of the more than 4,000 calories typically consumed, often at the local taco stands. Not to worry - the food being offered to the cops is nutritious, but it is also tasty and includes chicken fajitas, beans, steaks with mushrooms and prickly pear cactus (a favorite). Mexicans as a whole are struggling with increasing weight issues, mostly due to a sedentary lifestyle rather than just larger portions. They are, however, also consuming way too much salt, a problem in the states that I've covered in a previous blog. Many of the officers are complying with the new nutritional guidelines but many of them also confess to cheating and supplementing the new diet with street fare that can include large tacos, tortillas, quesadillas and a good gulp of sugary soda.
The police department's medical team, according to the newspaper article, say the problem is serious and that heavier weights make it harder to be efficient at work, especially when chasing down the bad guys. Some of the health officials feel that too stringent a diet won't work - balance is more important. If you're going to have two tacos, then also have some servings of vegetables and/or fruit. Other local cities coping with a similar weight challenge among policemen include Tijuana and Monterrey, where weight is seen as a quality job impediment. In one city, Aguascalientes, monetary rewards were used to try to tempt officers to shed pounds. That particular approach yielded some excellent reductions in weight.
Still many of the officers will continue to struggle with street food temptations and a nosh habit that is pervasive among most of the men. I would like to know that if someone grabbed my handbag or wallet, and a cop were close by, that he could run with the speed of a Slim Jim to catch the culprit!
Published On: July 28, 2010