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.
Could Therapy Be Key To Treating Your IBS? – Huffington Post, 11 April 2019, Natasha Hinde
Sitting down for too long may be causing 70,000 UK deaths a year – The Guardian, 26 March 2019, Nicola Davis
Human Contact Is Now a Luxury Good – New York Times, 23 March 2019, Nellie Bowles
Americans Are Going Bankrupt From Getting Sick, The Atlantic, 15 March 2019, Olga Khazan
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