World Moved From Starving to Obese with Terrifying Speed
> 8/15/2006 12:42:43 PM

In the worldwide fight against hunger, the late night commercials asking Americans to "adopt-a-child" have been nearly ubiquitous. But according to scientists and researchers at the 2006 International Association of Agricultural Economists conference in Australia this week, we may soon be seeing a different type of late night ad. As reported in Yahoo! News, the globe is now home to more overweight people than starving ones.

In his address to the conference, UNC nutrition professor Barry Popkin estimated that there are over one billion people who qualify as overweight, while those who would be considered undernourished number around 800 million. This is the result of technological advances worldwide that have decreased the cost of food and taken away an emphasis on physical activity.

China typified the changes, with a major shift in diet from cereals to animal products and vegetable oils accompanied by a decline in physical work, more motorised transport and more television viewing.

To be sure, this is merely an example, every country has failed equally in their efforts to confront the burden of overweight and obesity.

As this was a conference for economists, one can be sure that the solutions that were proposed centered around price fixes and economic solutions that centered on creating a greater availability of healthy foods while making unhealthy options much less appealing. Whether countries choose to root their responses to the rapidly growing problem in economics, in policy or in some as of yet unidentified realm, the fact remains, they better craft their responses soon. This is a global problem, and the entire globe will feel the squeeze when the chronic health effects of overweight and obesity show themselves.

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