Obesity and Starvation: Crazy and Cruel

Will these past several decades be recorded as the time of a horrible exploitation of people's health for the purpose of corporate profit? Will these generations be remembered for the times when thousands of people died daily from malnutrition and hunger - while so many others lived shortened unhealthy lives - from obesity?

It will be difficult to comprehend as it is even now. We in the most affluent countries may be looked upon as belonging to a prosperous society, much of which was frivolous and uncaring... and mean.

Obesity: Wasteful and sickening.
It is now estimated that the number of overweight people rivals the number of underweight people. On the fat side of the worrisome obesity-starvation equation are overly fed bad food consumers.

In our modern world with increasingly cheap, high calorie food (example, fast food — or “junk food”), prepared foods that are high in things like salt, sugars or fat, combined with our increasingly sedentary lifestyles, increasing urbanization and changing modes of transportation, it is no wonder that obesity has rapidly increased in the last few decades, around the world."

Global Issues continues on the obesity epidemic...
Topics discussed:
1. Number of People Overweight or With Obesity Rivals World’s Hungry
2. Obesity on the Increase
3. Obesity Affects Poor as well as Rich
4. Health impacts
5. Various causes of obesity
6. Addressing Obesity Globally, Nationally, Locally, Individually
7. Healthy versus Unhealthy Food Marketing; Who Usually Wins?
1. Talk of banning ads to kids met with resistance from industry
2. Industry attempts at self-regulation not working, sometimes reversing
3. Taxing junk food; a popular idea, but realistic?

Over-eaters can be blamed for their own situation but not totally; because they have been brain soaked with millions of advertisements telling them to eat tasty cheaply produced food. Food that is heavily loaded with additives such as preservatives and taste enhancers that increase shelf life and cravings - and profit margins. And they hooked them young!

Junk food it is appropriately called!
At this point in time the onus to eat healthy is on the consumer who is required to learn about choices and the pitfalls and traps in the marketing of food. There is some health information on food product labels but this usually only consists of that which is specifically required by government legislation. This helps those who understand and care about the benefits of eating wisely. Those who do not will much more likely be swayed by the shrewd advertising.

Unfortunately there is little promotion of the good stuff, at least compared to the propaganda churned out daily enticing all to eat greasy, salty, sugary food. The grand marketing by the big food companies has made it a tradition; pull in for a mess of fries, a burger and pop. Or grab a package of quick to cook stuff off the shelf and contribute to the corporate bottom line.

Government in many ways appears to be on the corporate team as they allow food producers and sellers to tiptoe around insufficient regulations. Consumers are mislead in many ways and are sold some very nasty food often camouflaged as something better. To protect one's own health it is not only necessary learn all about good diets but also how to read and decipher and be aware of the trick ads and food package labels. It is very important as deception is carefully designed and is widespread throughout the food marketing industry.

It is unfortunate that selling sickly processed foods is so common and so profitable. Worse yet is their 'success' in tempting and winning children over to their lucrative eating agenda, perhaps for a lifetime.

Starvation: The sad and inhumane side of the equation.
Hunger is the single gravest threat to the world's public health. According to the World Health Organization malnutrition is by far the biggest contributor to child mortality, present in half of all cases. Underweight births and inter-uterine growth restrictions cause 2.2 million child deaths a year. Poor or non-existent breastfeeding causes another 1.4 million. Other deficiencies, such as lack of vitamin A or zinc, for example, account for 1 million.
Read more on hunger and malnutrition at Wikipedia

World Hunger and Poverty by Anup Shah
We often hear about people’s desire to solve world hunger, or to be able to feed the world and help alleviate the suffering associated with it. However, meaningful long-term alleviation to hunger is rooted in the alleviation of poverty, as poverty leads to hunger. World hunger is a terrible symptom of world poverty. If efforts are only directed at providing food, or improving food production or distribution, then the structural root causes that create hunger, poverty and dependency would still remain. And so while continuous effort, resources and energies are deployed to relieve hunger through these technical measures, the political causes require political solutions as well....

Causes of Hunger are related to Poverty
There are many inter-related issues causing hunger, which are related to economics and other factors that cause poverty. They include land rights and ownership, diversion of land use to non-productive use, increasing emphasis on export-oriented agriculture, inefficient agricultural practices, war, famine, drought, over-fishing, poor crop yields, etc...

Solving World Hunger Means Solving World Poverty
Solving world hunger in the conventional sense (of providing/growing more food etc) will not tackle poverty that leads to hunger in the first place. Further, there is a risk of continuing the poverty and dependency without realizing it, because the act of attempting to provide more food etc can appear so altruistic in motive. To solve world hunger in the long run, poverty alleviation is required....

Food and Agriculture Issues
Food and agriculture goes to the heart of our civilizations. Religions, cultures and even modern civilization have food and agriculture at their core. For an issue that goes to the heart of humanity it also has its ugly side. This issue explores topics ranging from the global food crisis of 2008, to issues of food aid, world hunger, food dumping and wasteful agriculture such as growing tobacco, sugar, beef....

Read the comprehensive articles on World Hunger and Poverty by Anup Shah
Global Issues, Updated: August 22, 2010

Cutting obesity to feed the hungry would be a nice way to balance this grim equation. Unfortunately our world's current social and political environments do not seem capable or do not care.

A revision and extension of an earlier article as per Article Blogs and Re-posting.
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