Posts Tagged ‘obesity’

From “The Age“:

UN food agency chief takes dig at obese

  • June 3, 2008 – 8:38PM

UN food agency chief Jacques Diouf said today that billions of dollars are being wasted on feeding obese people in the West while millions starve around the world.

“No one understands … how over-consumption by obese people in the world costs 20 billion dollars each year,” the head of the Food and Agriculture Organisation told an international summit on the food price crisis.

On top of this, he added, there are “100 billion dollars in indirect costs resulting from premature deaths and associated diseases.”

Diouf also highlighted how an estimated 1.2 trillion dollars was spent on weapons in 2006 while aid to agriculture fell by more than half, from eight billion dollars in 1984 to 3.4 billion in 2004.

“In real terms, the share of agriculture in public aid to development has fallen from 17 per cent in 1980 to three per cent in 2006,” he said.

Recent food riots “are but the chronicle of a catastrophe that was foreseen,” said Diouf, whose agency has been harshly criticised.

Diouf lamented the failure to reach a goal set by the 1996 World Food Summit in Rome of reducing the number of hungry by half by 2015.

“With current trends the summit’s goal will be attained in 2150 instead of 2015,” he added.

Diouf said “the international community reacts, unfortunately, only when the media bring into the living rooms of wealthy countries the sad spectacle of those who suffer in the world.”



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From Michael Kahn, Reuters:


Obese and overweight people require more fuel to transport them and the food they eat, and a literally swelling global population will make this source of greenhouse emissions worse, say UK researchers.

Dr Phil Edwards and Dr Ian Roberts from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine argue their point in this week’s issue of The Lancet.

“We are all becoming heavier and it is a global responsibility,” Edwards says. “Obesity is a key part of the big picture.”

At least 400 million adults worldwide are obese. The World Health Organization (WHO) projects 2.3 billion adults will be overweight and more than 700 million will be obese by 2015.

In their model, Edwards and Roberts pegged 40% of the global population as obese with a body mass index of near 30. Many nations are fast approaching or have surpassed this level, says Edwards.

BMI is a calculation of height to weight, and the normal range is usually considered to be 18 to 25, with more than 25 considered overweight and above 30 obese.

The researchers found that obese people require 1,680 daily calories to sustain normal energy and another 1,280 calories to maintain daily activities, 18% more than someone with a stable BMI.

Because thinner people eat less and are more likely to walk than rely on cars, a slimmer population would lower demand for fuel for transportation and for agriculture, says Edwards.

This would take the pressure off food and energy supplies and reduce greenhouse gases from agriculture and transport, he says.

The researchers now aim to quantify how much a heavier population is contributing to climate change, higher fuel prices and food shortages.

But meanwhile, they call for policies that reduce obesity and the global demand for both fuel and food.

This includes transport policies that promote walking and cycling, they say.

“Decreased car use would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus the need for biofuels, and increased physical activity levels would reduce injury risk and air pollution, improving population health,” the researchers conclude.
Eat responsibly, please. You owe it to the earth.

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