Pressure Groups Call for Food Regulation to Cut Obesity Levels
Consumers International and the World Obesity Forum (WOF) have called on governments to introduce a global convention on food to address the problem of obesity. Proposed new measures include reducing levels of salt, saturated fat and sugar in foodstuffs, imposing stricter advertising controls and placing pictures on food packaging of the effects of obesity similar to those currently found on tobacco packaging.
WOF spokesman Dr Tim Lobstein is convinced that action hasn’t been taken so far due to corporate interests: “If obesity was an infectious disease, we would have seen billions of dollars being invested in bringing it under control,” he said. “But because obesity is largely caused by the overconsumption of fatty and sugary foods, we have seen policy-makers unwilling to take on the corporate interests who promote these foods.”
The global figure of people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more doubled between 1980 and 2008, while the global death rate from diseases primarily associated with obesity rose from 2.6 million in 2005 to 3.4 million in 2010. In January the UK’s National Obesity Forum warned that current estimates (which predict that half the UK population will be obese by 2050) underestimate the problem.
You can read a copy of ‘State of the Nation’s Waistline’ here.