Here’s a scary stat for you this morning: Obesity rates grew 82% globally in the last 20 years. It was bound to happen. Emerging economies have moved hundreds of millions of people from abject poverty to comfortable middle class. An unfortunate side effect has been a swift shift from “starved” to “stuffed”.
Last week CNN ran a story on this matter:
Noncommunicable diseases are a global challenge of “epidemic proportions,” according to Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization. In a speech to the U.N. General Assembly last year, she said NCDs are a “slow-motion disaster” that eventually could break the bank. Read more…
The problem is that the “western lifestyle” is what every poor person strives for. And that includes our junk food and supersized fast foods. Theoretically, everyone should be happy – the western food brands have found growth markets instead of stagnant local economies, and the formerly famished are now overjoyed to be eating meat on a regular basis. Perfect market economy.
With no easy way to measure the financial value of prevention, it will be hard to turn this ship around.