Fight Obesity With Economics, Not Health Campaigns, Experts Say
2012 05 09

By Christopher Wanjek | LiveScience.com

Nutrition experts gathered here last week for the World Nutrition Rio 2012 meeting harped upon familiar themes: obesity and unhealthy food. Yet surprisingly many of them, in leading academic and government positions of public health, apparently have all but given up on tried-and-true public-health campaigns.


"Want to end obesity? Then talk to the ministries of finance, not health," said Philip James of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and president of the London-based International Association for the Study of Obesity. "The impact of health education is zero."

The food industry is making us fat, according to James, and efforts to educate the public on proper nutrition or to ask industry to voluntarily reduce unhealthy ingredients such as sugar, salt, fat and myriad additives is "a load of diverting, delaying rubbish," he said. Government-initiated economic policies are needed to make healthy food affordable.

While James possesses a more extreme opinion among researchers at the meeting, he reflected a general tone of pure frustration among health experts in their efforts to tame the obesity pandemic. (In fact, a study out Monday, May 7, suggests by 2030, 42 percent of Americans will be obese.)

"There’s not a country in the world where the obesity rate isn’t climbing," said Barry Popkin, a renowned nutrition expert at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who presided over several talks. "China now has more children with diabetes than the United States."

Popkin explained how governments and multinational corporations shape diets on a global scale, from agricultural policies that favor the production of cheap sweeteners and meats, to the manufacturing of ultraprocessed foods that now dominate supermarket shelves. He has long advocated for a sugar tax on soda.

Carlos Monteiro of the University of São Paulo told meeting attendees that ultraprocessed food is "the biggest concern" in the obesity pandemic.

[...]


Read the full article at: livescience.com













Related Articles
Scientists find "master switch" gene for obesity
McDonalds spends 2 billion a year on advertising: What Role Does This Have in Childhood Obesity?
Health Benefits of Dandelions
The Health Dangers of Energy Drinks and Supplements
Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper
Prevent the EU from restricting information communicating benefits of food and natural health products
Health reasons to cook with cast-iron
The Illusion of Choice in the Commercial Food Industry


Latest News from our Front Page

Water rationing hits California: limit of 50 gallons per person per day or face fines of $500
2014 09 29
Millions of Californians are about to be hit with strict water rationing -- daily "allocation" numbers that represent the maximum amount of water you’re allowed to use for any purpose. Households that exceed the allocation limit will face stiff fines of hundreds of dollars per violation. "In July, the State Water Resources Control Board passed stage one emergency regulations, giving powers ...
Much of Earth’s Water is Older than the Sun
2014 09 29
Much of the water on Earth and elsewhere in the solar system likely predates the birth of the sun, a new study reports. The finding suggests that water is commonly incorporated into newly forming planets throughout the Milky Way galaxy and beyond, researchers said — good news for anyone hoping that Earth isn’t the only world to host life. “The implications of ...
Did the Vikings Get a Bum Rap?
2014 09 29
A Yale historian wants us to rethink the terrible tales about the Norse. This illustration shows the stereotype of Viking marauders wreaking mayhem, even on clergy. The scene depicts the monastery at Clonmacnoise, Ireland. The Vikings gave no quarter when they stormed the city of Nantes, in what is now western France, in June 843—not even to the monks barricaded in the ...
David Cameron Says Non-Violent Conspiracy Theorists Are Just As Dangerous As ISIS
2014 09 29
David Cameron told the U.N. that "non-violent extremism" is just as dangerous as terrorism and must be eradicated using all means at the government’s disposal. He references 9/11 and 7/7 Truthers as examples of the type of extremism that must be dealt in a similar fashion to ISIS. If you thought Obama’s War is Peace speech to the U.N. was creepy, ...
NY Times: Europe’s Anti-Semitism Comes Out of the Shadows
2014 09 28
NY Times Whines about European "Anti-Semitism" In the wake of the conflict in Gaza, three communities became flash points of violence and began contending with hatred they thought was buried in the past. Read the NY Times hit piece on Europe here Below is a rebuttal from Mike King’s The Anti-New York Times at tomatobubble.com: Strike up the violins and break out the barf ...
More News »