Progress against obesity, “unacceptably slow” worldwide
A series of studies recently published in The Lancet suggests that although childhood obesity rates are dramatically rising around the world, few countries are doing anything about it.
Researchers found that while the average calorie consumption by children has risen significantly since the 1970s, only one in four countries have adopted health policies designed to help slow the spike in obesity. The researchers acknowledged the individual’s responsibility in eating healthy, but they also suggested that the food industry continues to exploit the biological, social and economic vulnerability of children. This, they say, encourages children to eat more processed foods that cause them to become overweight.
The scientists said that children who are overweight earlier in life may be seen as an “investment in future sales,” contributing to the growth of processed food sales.
The results of the studies, researchers said, suggest that stricter regulation of the food supply and taxes on unhealthy foods are needed, as well as healthy food subsidies for poorer children and more mandatory labeling on food products.