As Mexico contends with obesity rates worse than even their portly northern neighbours, national health and welfare officials are looking to rice to get the country back into shape.

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The ancient Maya may have considered chocolate “the food of the gods”, but corn is the grain that has perennially powered the Mexican masses. Indeed, Mexicans on average eat some 130kg of maize each year – almost two-thirds in the form of those iconic corn tortillas. Only Malawi challenges Mexico for corn consumption.

But as Mexico contends with obesity rates worse than even their portly northern neighbours, national health and welfare officials are looking to rice to get the country back into shape. Working with the USA Rice Federation (URF), a clutch of Mexican states are promoting schemes to encourage Mexicans to consume more rice.

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