So it would appear that the United Nations has failed spectacularly to halt the spread of obesity:
“UN goals on diet-related disease will fail to be met because of the soaring numbers of people becoming obese or overweight, with almost 1 billion of the world’s adults projected to be obese by 2025, analysis shows.
Experts warn that targets will not be met because of the spread of the westernised diet around the globe as a result of heavy marketing by the food industry.”
This is disturbing on many levels, for many reasons. The article focuses on diet with a brief mention of lack of exercise.
“Behind the world’s weight gain is the rapid transition from traditional foods, often grown in the community, to modern urban diets – and especially the take-up of sugary soft drinks and snacks. Increased sedentary behavior is also a major issue.”
Sugary soft drinks and snacks.
I see this all the time as a reason for the rise in obesity, and I don’t question that it is a major cause, so why the hell are these companies still allowed to advertise? Cigarette companies had to start putting on warning labels in 1966 (in the USA), just two decades after cigarettes were determined to be causing an epidemic in lung cancer, so why, some 30 odd years of rising obesity rates down the road, are we still allowing these foods to go unchecked?
I don’t pretend to be perfect, my kids get sugary sweets and my son begs for “orange pop” when we go out and he sees it at the store, this crap is everywhere, and it can be really, really hard to tell the monsters NO time and time again (causing major tantrums). I’m also a fan of Diet Coke. However, I can certainly say, I would drink a hell of a lot less if it was taxed as highly as cigarettes, and I would put up with those tantrums a lot longer.
I also find the article a little worrying for its only brief mention of sedentary lifestyles, which I personally believe to be a huge factor in the rising obesity rates. Lots of people are now stuck sitting at desks for 8+ hours a day and driving longer and longer commutes home. This isn’t a lifestyle that promotes activity, what it promotes is crashing on the sofa. And do we really need to work 8+ hours a day? Is it really productive?
No, not really. I for one always end up on Facebook for the majority of the day. In fact, I’m most productive the less hours in the day I have to complete something (I’m a horrible procrastinator).
If the UN is serious, really if ANY government is serious, about tackling obesity they need to take the food companies to task, and they need to lower working hours or enforce time for people to get active. If we really care about people’s health, then we need to give them the time and tools to be healthy. The time to make healthy meals, the knowledge in how to make those meals, the incentive to not buy crap (by making it horrendously expensive) and the time to get active….
Of course then there’s the whole issue of our societal standards of beauty and how not reaching unrealistic goals is causing us to self destruct, and how we all set ourselves up for failure by doing fad diets that are designed to fail, and….
Hmmm….maybe not so simple after all?