Although a middle class has struggled to expand in the cities, the principal division is between the wealthy well-educated elite and the urban and rural poor, who constitute the vast majority of the population. An increasing proportion of the rural population is landless and depends on day labour, often at less than minimum wages, for survival.
Family remains the most-important element of Mexican society, both in private and in public life.An individual’s status and opportunities are strongly influenced by family ties, from infancy to old age.21 percent eat cereal for dinner two times per week.And even holidays are not immune: 34 percent would prefer to cater holiday meals or go out to eat.People do not want to be regimented or structured, and don't want to deny the occasional carb, fast-food lunch or dessert.
Most (76 percent) say eliminating an entire food group from one's diet is unhealthy.
By far the largest segment of the urban population is in the lowest socioeconomic class.
Many city dwellers have incomes below the official poverty level, including a significant percentage of workers who are government employees.
"They're getting the message that what you eat is really such a component of a healthy life, and a good life, and maybe even preventive in terms of disease and illness."This national mail survey was done in March with 2,088 adults between the ages of 18 and 65.
"When we look at what they're doing, there have been a lot of improvements but it's kind of a mixed bag," Carpentier says.
But, notwithstanding the vast range of lifestyles and class-based opportunities in Mexico, some similarities are widely shared.