US Exporting Obesity

Staff report, The Hidden Costs of Sleep Deficits, Association for Psychological Science, December 1, 2017

If Left Unchecked

As US President Donald Trump’s administration throws sharp elbows in trade negotiations and systematically rescinds regulations introduced by President Barack Obama, one casualty is likely to be efforts to fight the global obesity epidemic. Left unchecked, rapidly rising obesity rates could slow or even reverse the dramatic gains in health and life expectancy that much of the world has enjoyed over the past few decades.

Through the WI Lens

The Harvard economist was one of the first to propose a tax on processed food, whose proceeds could be used to subsidize healthier alternatives. His article serves as a useful reminder that things will get worse before they improve. The reasons are twofold: (1) Obesity rates are increasing around the world, led by some of the richest countries: the US, the UK and Canada. In emerging markets, the obesity problem is also getting worse because American companies and lobbyists are imposing their food culture by all possible means; (2) President Trump – a fast food fan – will rescind all kinds of regulations introduced by President Obama, affecting efforts to fight the global obesity epidemic.

What’s going to happen next is unclear… At the high-end of the income curve, the obesity epidemic will strengthen the wellness resolve of the tiny but fast-expanding minority who cares about the quality of its food. Organic and properly sourced food will continue to grow faster than the industry average. Otherwise, the perennial fight between the legislators and business lobbies will intensify. Obesity taxes (and thin subsidies) will be tried around the world. The agri-business and beverage industries will fight back.

Gut Feelings

April 16, 2019

Could Therapy Be Key To Treating Your IBS? – Huffington Post, 11 April 2019, Natasha Hinde

Radicalise Movement

April 2, 2019

Sitting down for too long may be causing 70,000 UK deaths a year – The Guardian, 26 March 2019, Nicola Davis

Humans Back In Vogue

March 26, 2019

Human Contact Is Now a Luxury Good – New York Times, 23 March 2019, Nellie Bowles

Sickness to Debt to Sickness

March 19, 2019

Americans Are Going Bankrupt From Getting Sick, The Atlantic, 15 March 2019, Olga Khazan

On The Money

March 12, 2019

Why the future of well-being isn’t about money, 26 Feb 2019, Justin Dupuis

Bread Culture

March 5, 2019

With bread’s return to favor in the wellness world, consumers are ritualizing the baking process as an opportunity to slow down. JWT Intelligence, 28 February 2019, Emily Safian-Demers

Ikea Purity

February 26, 2019

Ikea’s new curtains purify the air inside your house – Fast Company, 20 Feb 2019, Jesus Diaz


February 19, 2019

Insectageddon – Politicians are complicit in the killing of our insects – we will be next – Guardian 12 February 2019 – Molly Scott Cato

Goop, Delta, Netflix

February 12, 2019

Goop Enters Netflix Deal: Has Pseudoscience Found A New Platform? Forbes, 9 Feb 2019, Bruce Y. Lee

Race Ready Workplace

February 5, 2019

5 ways work culture will change by 2030, Fast Company, February 4th 2019 Gwen Moran

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