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“Our goal must be a world in which good health is a pillar of individual well-being, national progress, and international stability and peace. This cannot be achieved without partnerships involving governments, international organizations, the business community, and civil society.”

— Kofi A. Annan, ex-Secretary-General of the United Nations

Rewarding Excellence, Encouraging Leadership... » Health Literature 

Juan A. Rivera et al., Mexico

Public Health Researchers in Mexico received the 2003 Fred L. Soper Award for Excellence in Health Literature

Soper 2003 (1)

The Pan American Health and Education Foundation, a US-based, nonprofit partner of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) awarded researchers from the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico the Fred L. Soper Award for their significant research showing a rapid increase of non-communicable chronic diseases and obesity in Mexico (Public Health Nutrition, 5:1A, 113-122, 2002).

Soper 2003 (2)

Dr. Joaquín Molina Leza, PAHO/WHO Representative presented the award to the principal author, Dr. Juan Rivera Dommarco, director of the Research Center in Nutrition and Health of the National Institute of Public Health, and his colleagues Dr. Simón Barquera, Dr. Fabricio Campirano, Dr. Ismael Campos, Dr. Margarita Safdie, and Dr. Víctor Tovar.

Soper 2003 (3)

The results of this award-winning research suggest that obesity contributed to the increase in mortality due to diabetes, acute myocardial infarction, and hypertension during 1988-1999. Further, the research showed that fat intake and the purchase of refined carbohydrates (e.g., soda) also rose during the same time period, suggesting that they also may be risk factors for the increased mortality. Based on their findings, the researchers recommend that actions should be implemented to prevent obesity, and an analysis of reliable information about food consumption and physical activity be conducted to determine their specific roles in the development of obesity.

Dr. Soper inaugurated the modern era of PAHO, and oversaw its integration with the World Health Organization. He served as PAHO Director from 1947 to 1959. He published more than a hundred works in medical and public health journals through-out the world. The award consisted of a certificate of honor and US$2,500. It aims to stimulate excellence in medical and public health research.

Download Article: "Epidemiological and Nutritional Transition in Mexico: Rapid increase of non-communicable chronic diseases and obesity." Public Health Nutrition (51a), 113-122, 2002 (pdf)

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