Diets: Breaking an Obesogenic Society
Recognizing no simple course will suffice to suppress the swelling epidemic of overweight, specialists are cooking up extra large helpings of potential solutions. From politicians and policymakers to industrialists and investigators, a host of concerned interests has turned up the heat on the world's dangerously bloated beltline. Frustrated by the expanding expenditures required by the piling on of pounds, they are seeking ways to put the lid on lost lives and revenues.
Some 1.2 billion humans, including 129.6 million Americans, weigh too much. At last count, corpulence was overtaking tobacco as America's No. 1 preventable killer, claiming more than 400,000 lives--and gobbling up $117 billion in overall costs--each year.
"We have a society-wide problem, similar to that of tobacco, that must be addressed on a society-wide basis," said Nancy Amy, associate professor of nutrition at the University of California at Berkeley. "The food industry claims that eating is 'personal choice,' but that was the same argument that the tobacco industry used."
Of like mind, the authors of a report in the June 26 edition of the British Medical Journal have called for tackling the weight overload with global strategies similar to those dished out against tobacco.
"Potential international standards might cover issues such as marketing restrictions for unhealthy food products, restrictions on the advertising and availability of unhealthy products in schools, or potential price or tax measures to reduce the demand for unhealthy products," advised the team, led by Mickey Chopra, senior lecturer in public health at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Diets: Breaking an Obesogenic Society. Contributors: Not available. Magazine title: The World and I. Volume: 19. Issue: 8 Publication date: August 2004. Page number: Not available. © 1999 News World Communications, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group.
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