New information from world health officials says the fat-storm that is currently savaging the western world is just growing in scope and intensity. In the next fifteen tears, it could encompass the whole world and affect all cultures and classes. And the cure is really simple – if we make the effort…
The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition has warned the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation that a full one third of the people on Earth will be overweight or obese by the year 2030, if we continue on the way we’re headed. The answer? Balanced diets and better food.
The report, presented at the UN this past week, says that not only obesity but a whole catalogue of major diseases including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and other diet-related illnesses will increase to the point that their consequences will tax society’s ability to cope with them. With an increase in disease comes a commensurate increase the burden on the health care system and drops in productivity due to time lost for treatment and reduced ability to perform required tasks.
And, where just a few years ago, overweight-related diseases were considered ‘western’ afflictions, we’re now seeing more and more cases in the developing world. Because ‘development’ usually means exposure to high-sugar, high-fate, processed Western-style foods. In fact, as a report recently published in the British Medical Journal Lancet states, two-thirds of the obese people in the world now live in developing countries.
Already, the report says, two billion of the nearly 7 billion people on Earth lack the full range of vitamins and minerals they need to remain healthy. And, even though malnourishment in developing world has been in the spotlight for two decades, now, it’s estimated that some 800 million people still go hungry every day.
What to do?
The Global Panel says an effort on the scale of recent commitments to fight infectious diseases like Malaria and HIV will be sufficient to meet the challenge. Bill Gates, are you listening?
There’s a lesson for all of us, about our diets, in this.
~ Maggie J.