Published On: Fri, Apr 4th, 2014

What “La Plancha” project could mean to the Yucatecan Society

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In recent years, the Yucatecan society has witnessed many important demographic and environmental changes such as the increase of temperatures in the region or the accelerated population growth, therefore, the creation of innovative projects and developments are necessary to transform our city and the way we live.

The creation of new projects, specifically the ones referring to culture, health and environment, have an important impact in our society, moreover if we consider the problems that Yucatán is facing with high rates of obesity and diabetes, as an example.

The high rate of obesity in the state has caused alarm in the citizenship in the last 4 years, affecting mostly children under 5 years old. Bad eating habits and lack of physical activity are considered as the main causes of this problem.

As result, Yucatán has the 1st place internationally in obesity in children under 5 years old and nationally 2nd place in Obesity in Adults, which is now affecting half the population of the state.

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It is clear that if we do not apply the necessary measures to reverse these numbers and change our sedentary lifestyle, we would be facing in the future the threat of not having enough beds to cater for all patients suffering from diseases caused directly or indirectly by obesity and lack of physical activity, such as heart attacks, different types of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes mellitus.

Given this problem that has arisen in our society, both the Federal and State Governments have begun to develop and implement projects that will reduce the percentage of obese people, and raise awareness about the right habits for a healthier life. There is no doubt that Physical activity in children and adults is essential as an important step forward to a better quality of life.

Proof of this, are the new taxes applied this year to junk food and carbonated beverages, as well as the new physical activity programs that have been implemented in schools.

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However, there is still a long way to go to achieve the change we need, as it involves the joint efforts of government, private sector and society through the creation of spaces that promote sports, outdoor recreational activities, campaigns of right eating habits, etc.

And here in Yucatán, we have an excellent role model: The Ancient Mayan Society.

More than 3,000 years old, they were much healthier. Their food was bounteous and their health care was sophisticated. Good health was a complex blend of mind, body, religion, ritual and science.

But the Mayan culture has suffered a great loss of its traditions and manners, due to several facts:

It all started with the advent of the Spanish conquerors and the establishment of the Catholic Church in Yucatán, when all those Mayan codes, which contained the research and findings about herbal benefits, were burned, erasing all evidence of these important herbal remedies.

Traditional healers lament that this tradition is dying out and it is not diffused anymore. Modern society believes that conventional medicine is better than herbal, and so they reject the healing knowledge of their ancestors.

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Mayan herbal medicine has more than 350 different kinds of plants with the power to heal diseases such as diabetes and so many others. It is important to preserve these practices and to get to know more about all the applications and benefits that are surrounding us and we are not aware of.

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On the other hand, the increasing migration of people from other parts of Mexico has caused a mix of cultures in which habits and lifestyles are being modified.

The impact of the globalization and technological breakthroughs that have emerged make it easier to adopt trends from so many different parts of the world, due to the influence of TV characters or fashion artists.

Finally, when we refer to the big changes that the environment has suffered, it is a fact that people is more aware of this situation and has started to apply practices to reduce pollution, but above all to promote green spaces in our communities.

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There are several projects that are being driven by society and government, as is the case of  “La Plancha” that was published previously on The Yucatan Times, which aims to cover these three factors (health, culture and environment), that is so important for the growth of the Yucatecan society.

 

By María Eugenia Castillo Conde.

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  • Degree in Sport Science, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León.
  • Student of Marketing, Universidad Anahuac Mayab.
  •  Assistant Editor at the Yucatan Times

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