College of Arts and Sciences


International Studies

Faculty Mentor

Serena Cosgrove

Faculty Editor

Serena Cosgrove

Student Editor

Thea Mercer


This essay will explore obesity, body mass and nutrition transition as health concerns in Guatemala and Guatemala City’s youth population. Obesity can be caused by consuming more calories than are exerted, resulting in a high Body Mass Index. The proximate cause of an extreme weight gain can be linked to the overconsumption of energy-dense, nutrient-poor food, which marketing, urbanization, food deserts and food swamps have a direct correlation to influence. Although obesity is a global health concern, this essay will outline contributing factors which have led to a population facing severe nutritional changes, and will focus on Guatemala’s youth, being one of the most vulnerable populations to this form of malnutrition. Guatemala is in a period of nutritional transition through changes in the food environment, which will be analyzed by examining the excessive marketing of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods that affects young people in Guatemala City.