World Takes On Obesity Fight

May 24, 2004

By George Anderson

The World Health Organization, the United Nations’ health agency, has agreed on a plan to combat obesity across the globe, reports Reuters.

The surge in obesity among all age groups has been blamed for the rise in type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases in all age groups. Obesity is now said to be the second most
preventable cause of death in the U.S. The plan’s specifics, which have been under negotiation for two years, call for limits on the amount of fat, sugar and salt in people’s

C. Manly Molpus, president and chief executive of the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) and Raymond Destin, director general of the Confederation of the Food and Drink Industries
of the European Union (CIAA), said in a joint statement. “We hope that the adoption of this strategy provides further momentum for all sectors who have a stake in these issues
to accelerate their efforts.

“Our member companies are moving full steam ahead to develop a greater variety of healthy and nutritious foods, provide additional information to help consumers manage their
diets, and support public and private initiatives to improve nutrition education and levels of physical activity.”

Moderator’s Comment: Related to Friday’s discussion on personal responsibility for obesity:

Do you apply the same level of personal responsibility for being obese to consumers in developing nations who may not have the same information as to
proper nutrition and exercise as you do to those in the U.S. and Europe? What are your thoughts on the WHO’s planned campaign to combat the problem across the globe?

The report by Reuters, citing the World Heart Federation as its source, says “over-eating or poor eating habits [is] replacing malnutrition as a
health problem in many developing nations.” The group claims there are now 1.1 billion adults and 22 million children worldwide classified as obese.

George Anderson – Moderator

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