More Fat People Than Starving in the World - Obesity is the New Health Crisis and Causes Health Problems

More Fat People Than Starving in the World - Obesity is the New Health Crisis and Causes Health Problems

There are now more obese people in the world than starving people, and an international conference in Australia is calling for incentives to address this urgent problem. This may be a sign of the times, since it is much easier to acquire food today than it has ever been. Early humans spent most of their days working to provide a meal.

The shift from starvation to obesity happened quickly, according to Barry Popkin, a nutrition professor at the University of North Carolina. He believes the shift has occurred because there was a global dietary shift away from cereals and grains to animal products and vegetable oils.

Popkin told the Agricultural Economists conference in Australia's Queensland state on Monday that "Obesity is the norm globally and under-nutrition, while still important in a few countries and in targeted populations in many others, is no longer the dominant disease. The reality is that globally far more obesity than under-nutrition exists." Comment on this Article on our Forum

Popkin also blames our sedentary lifestyle saying that people are eating more high-fat, oil-rich diets. China illustrates his point: lifestyles have changed and more people are working in offices, watching TV and driving cars.

He recommends that governments make healthy foods cheaper in an effort to address the obesity problem. Many argue that this sort of social engineering would be unacceptable. ABC News reported that Barry Senauer, a professor of applied economics at the University of Minnesota, said a tax on fatty foods would be politically unacceptable in countries like the United States.

Professor Senauer also addressed the conference. He said "Less direct incentives such as policies to raise the cost of driving and encourage the use of public transport would help increase physical activity." He added "Obesity and overweight bring with them significant risks of chronic disease and adjusting domestic policy to encourage a less sedentary lifestyle is literally a matter of life and death." Comment on this Article on our Forum

By Dan Wilson



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