The project in Mexico was a multi-stage campaign to alleviate diet-related diseases among the Totonac people and to foster the growth of a new organic produce industry. The project began with compact, high-yield home gardens and advisory meetings with our nutritional counselors.

To address the issue of malnutrition and obesity in the community we began a campaign to bring nutritional counseling and knowledge of home gardening to families. In 2012, after a three-year pilot project, the Himalayan Institute joined hands with another nonprofit that took the platform which had been developed and brought it to thousands of families across the region.

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As many as 30% of households suffer under the double burden of being malnourished and overweight. A staggering 70% of adults are either overweight or obese, the highest rate on the planet. Introducing nutritional counseling brought the importance of proper nutrition and healthy diets to this population.

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Aside from the benefit of improving their own diets, as participating families began to grow fruits and vegetables beyond the needs of their immediate communities, our agricultural center in Central Mexico assisted them in networking and improving market linkage with nearby cities, where demand for healthy food is soaring.