Globesity

ongoing project

In the last decades obesity has become a new emergency alarmingly spreading all over the world. For the first time in the human history there are more overweight people than underweight people, and most of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kill more than underweight. 

 

Today 795 million people suffer from malnutrition, while over 2.1 billion adults and 41 million children under 5 are overweight or obese, and the numbers keep climbing in epidemic proportions (WHO, 2001/2014; WOF, 2015).

The causes of this phenomenon, so-called Globesity, are complex and multisectoral and must not be sought in the excess of food, but is largely a product of poverty, accelerating rates of urbanization,  globalization of western processed-food, and in the lack of opportunity and access by the poorest population groups, to quality food and adequate medical care.

To date, no country has reversed its obesity epidemic with exorbitant health and social costs. Obesity is the third most expensive human-caused social burden in the world, behind only smoking and armed violence, war, and terrorism. In Mexico, obesity is the costliest social burden, pricing in at 2.5 percent of GDP, and South Africa, and Brazil lose similar shares of their national economies to obesity’s rising costs.

In the current context of economic slowdown, obesity outlines new forms of poverty and social exclusion, and while malnutrition is declining, overnutrition is expected to become the largest social and economic problem in the world.

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