Cities Changing Diabetes: Mexico City

12 June 2018

Living With Type 2 Diabetes Takes Heroic Acts

Watch Mari Carmen’s story:

Some days I wouldn’t get out of bed. I had no energy to face life and it’s very difficult. You have to do heroic acts to get up every day and say ‘OK, let’s get to work!’

Meet Mari Carmen from Mexico City. It was a hard blow for Mari Carmen when she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the age of 41. She knew about the disease but didn’t think it could affect her as there was no history of diabetes in her family.

At first Mari Carmen was overwhelmed by the lifestyle changes she realized she had to make. She didn’t exercise regularly and used to eat a lot of sugar and bread – that now had to change.

She found motivation when her daughter was also diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at only 20 years old. Mari Carmen realized that she needed to stay healthy and active in order to be able to support her daughter. So she decided to only eat what is good for her and to exercise even if she gets home late at night. No excuses.

The only thing I do is to lead a healthy life, with a lot of exercise – and I avoid whatever hurts me”, she says.

Mari Carmen has turned her life around and has become a role model for her daughter. She has achieved a better quality of life for her family – and for herself.

Facts about diabetes in México City

Mari Carmen lives in Mexico City, which with over 20 million citizens and a huge urban sprawl, is not the most bike friendly city. Nevertheless, she finds a way to go for a ride to get some exercise.

Mexico City has a free bike sharing system and has recently constructed some bike lanes and also closes off one of the major avenues on Sundays for a ‘bikeathon’. Sixteen percent of adults in Mexico City live with diabetes and more than 1 in 3 adults have obesity. The diabetes rate is projected to rise to more than 22% if drastic actions are not taken.

México City is partnering with Cities Changing Diabetes to address the urban diabetes challenge through new ways of looking at what the Federal State’s Ministry of Health has declared a public health emergency in Mexico.

Read the full report: Bending the curve on urban diabetes

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