Author Topic: Overweight people now outnumber starving people  (Read 6751 times)

Offline Eric

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Overweight people now outnumber starving people
« on: August 18, 2006, 04:24:20 PM »
Just read this today on ABC News

Interesting because they blame sugar first but then laughingly suggest that in the developing world BEEF is the culprit

Uh, sure, whatever you say

World Is Getting Bigger, After All
More People Packing on the Pounds at a Faster Rate

Aug. 15, 2006 - Hollywood stars may be dropping dress sizes before our eyes, but the rest of the world is packing on the pounds.

There now are more obese people than undernourished ones, according to a recent nutritional study.

Not only are countries bulking up, the number of people with love handles has grown.

Although the reasons differ, diet has a lot to do with it.

"Overweight people are exploding around the globe in terms of numbers and rates of change, particularly among adults," said University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor Barry Popkin.

He spoke in a telephone interview from Australia.

Tipping the Scale

There are now more than 1 billion overweight people and 850 million starving ones in the world.

Overweight people also definitely have the upper hand, according to Popkin, who is attending the International Association of Agricultural Economists' annual conference.

"This growth in obesity is accelerating globally, not slowing down," he said. "In many, many countries, two-thirds of the adult population is overweight and obese."

Popkin named the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico and Egypt as some of the worst fat offenders.

India, meanwhile, accounts for one-third of the world's undernourished.

On average, Popkin estimates that 0.5 percent to 1.1 percent of adults tip the scale into the overweight category annually.

Global standards use the body mass index, a measure of body fat based on height and weight, to gauge obesity. An adult with a BMI of 25 is considered overweight, and a BMI of 30 signals obesity.

Kids don't seem to be getting chubby quite as fast, except in Australia where 1.7 percent of children become overweight every year.

It's the Diet, Stupid

Popkin blames the ballooning waist sizes to the added sugars in fruit juices, sodas, and other food items, especially in the Western world.

"Half the caloric intake in the U.S. now comes from sugary drinks," he said.

Because these drinks provide no real nutritional value, people eat just as much as before despite the higher calorie count, he said.

In the developing world, beef is in part the culprit.

Popkin points a finger at the growing consumption of dairy, poultry, and other meat products.

As beef and vegetable oil prices fell, more and more people gave up rice and noodles in favor of fatty meats and fried food, he said.

Using China as a case study, Popkin said that the country now had a 25 percent obesity rate -- an unknown phenomenon 20 years ago.

In his opinion, education won't change people's habits, but prices will.

"Tax each gram of added sugar," he said.

Offline Neander-Steve

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Re: Overweight people now outnumber starving people
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2006, 06:46:58 PM »
Eric, Ironically both groups of people "obese and undernourished" are victims of the same malady - malnutrition.