The Role of Social and Cultural Factors in the Involvement of Physical and Sports Activity in Mexico

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 10:30 AM
Room: 412
Oral Presentation
Gerardo ORELLANA , Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México, Mexico
Mexico is the greatest consumer of carbonated drinks and has the highest percentage of people who are considered overweight. Government actions have not adequately considered sports as a factor that drives social development. Part of this weakness in Mexico is a lack of specialized studies that identify the needs for physical activity, as well as the capacity of large corporations to exert influence on legislators through lobbying, thus limiting the national Government’s possibilities to foster social development.

This paper  present results from a study that identifies some of the social factors that influence the possibility of a population’s involvement in practicing sports and physical activity, such as infrastructure, socialization experiences and different needs by gender, age, regional and cultural conditions.

The study was carried out in the central-south region of Mexico, with students of upper high school of a semi-rural community. It is an exploratory study using a mixed methodology that was conducted between September and December 2012.

The results show differentiated consumption of physical and sports activities among the student population. The important role that public institutions play in marginal communities with low economic resources regarding health care, and the promotion of physical and sports activities within this population is highlighted. The results also suggest the vulnerability of these communities when faced with the economic interests of corporations due to the lack of regulatory policies to mitigate health risks.