Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Roderic Camp

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2014 Laila G. Heid


The purpose of this paper is to explain the obesity pandemic in Latin America and identify the factors of development contributing to the pandemic. The paper uses the framework of the nutrition transition as presented by Barry Popkin to trace consumption patterns and changes in dietary habits in the region. The paper looks at three case studies: Mexico and Chile, two countries with high obesity rates, and Peru, the country with the lowest obesity rate in South America. This comparative framework is intended to determine which conditions are necessary for obesity, which conditions are sufficient for obesity, and any conditions that might limit high levels of obesity. The analysis includes ten distinct factors, but concludes that economic growth and urbanization were the most important determinants of a region developing obesity.