‘Children of Men’ (D. Alfonso Cuarón, 2006)
The world I live in is one where racism proliferates, overwhelming climate change, senseless terrorist attacks, closed borders, the refugee crisis that seems to have no end, the beginning and end of the war are connected and here for a long time. twenty years there is no new birth, it is an infertile world, a race against time and the extinction of humanity seems inevitable. What would you do if suddenly the only pregnant woman known to be in years appeared in your path? Would you risk anything to preserve the species? That is precisely the premise from which ‘Children of Men’ (D. Alfonso Cuarón, 2006) starts, which, analyzed from the initial perspective of this text, seems to be a harbinger of what is happening here and now. Beyond what we can analyze with geopolitical issues, what is interesting is the predicament in which we would find ourselves if there were a massive wave of infertile people (a story with similar overtones is proposed by José Saramago in ‘Essay on blindness’ where an epidemic of blindness plunges the world into that condition).
What kind of measures would we take? Would we call it an epidemic? Would we consider it a case to be vaccinated? It seems that we are not so far from starting to consider these predicaments and the fact is that the statistics are clear, currently between fifteen or twenty percent of women have fertility problems. Although it is not only a problem that only concerns women, the current proportion affects women more. There are different causes associated with infertility (although, like many biological phenomena, we are still far from understanding why it occurs) that can be generally divided into: intrinsic and extrinsic. At an intrinsic level, there may be genetic defects, malformations in the reproductive system, hormonal deregulation, to name a few examples, and extrinsic ones may be pollution, lifestyle, diet.
And right on food is where I want to focus this short text. For a long time we have campaigns that deal with the care of food and it is not for less, our country occupies the first place in obesity and overweight, a consequence of the system that prevails and the excessive industrialization of food together with genetic elements that leave us in disadvantage when it comes to eating, which is why the institutions in charge of our health begin by trying to draw our attention to taking care of ourselves. But then, where is there a relationship between motherhood and inadequate management of food? Current studies show that being overweight is one of the fundamental causes in the development of polycystic syndrome that also affects the implantation and development of an embryo.
The current population has a prevalence of seven out of ten overweight individuals and fertility problems, as we mentioned, occur in two out of ten people, which is very high if we compare it with health problems such as neurodegenerative diseases where the worldwide prevalence is only 1% (a percentage that is still high). Hence the importance of raising awareness about two problems that are latent in our lives. On the one hand we have a crisis about the mismanagement of our diet and on the other hand, infertility is becoming increasingly apparent. If we continue with the current trends regarding our poor diet, the environmental factors that diminish our quality of life (we already have many cars, for example), the hectic pace of life that we lead, let’s not hope that the premise of Cuarón’s film will not be fulfilled: a world where a baby arrives every twenty years.