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

Gene That Once Aided Survival in the Arctic Found to Have Negative Impact on Health Today
2014 10 23
In individuals living in the Arctic, researchers have discovered a gene variant that arose thousands of years ago and most likely provided an evolutionary advantage for processing high-fat diets or for surviving in a cold environment; however, the variant also seems to increase the risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and infant mortality in today’s northern populations. {snip} “Our work ...
The Ebola hoax: questions, answers, and the false belief in the “One It”
2014 10 23
“The Reality Manufacturing Company doesn’t just sell ‘fake paintings’ that are easy to spot. No. They also sell images that are geared to mesh with people’s deeply held instincts and thereby produce rigid false beliefs. People are sure that if they gave up such beliefs, their world would fall apart and blow away in the wind.” ...
New Controversial Theory Suggests "Hobbits" Were Not Human - Who Were These Mysterious Beings?
2014 10 23
The origin of the Hobbit species remains a challenging subject to scientists. The Hobbit’s discovery confirmed the view that the Earth was once populated by many species of human, but new research the Hobbit’s were not human at all! So, who were these mysterious beings? Where did they come from? The idea that our species, Homo sapiens, was the only species of human on ...
Right into enemy hands? ISIS shows off new weapons allegedly airdropped by US (VIDEO)
2014 10 23
Islamic State has published a new video in which a jihadist shows off brand-new American hardware, which was purportedly intended for the Kurds they are fighting in the Syrian border town of Kobani. The undated video, posted by the unofficial IS mouthpiece “a3maq news”, sees a jihadist showing several boxes of munitions with English-language markings, with a parachute spread out on ...
STAGED INFECTION: Has The Ebola ‘Outbreak’ Narrative Fallen Apart?
2014 10 22
Over the past month, the ‘pandemic’ propaganda surrounding the deadly Ebola virus seemed to reach vitriolic levels – raising serious questions about the validity of this current viral outbreak… On Monday of this week, it was reported that 48 people were released and cleared after a 21-day quarantine due to their contact with the now deceased Ebola-stricken patient Thomas Eric ...
More News »