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Insight into the Future of Globesity


Ertharin Cousin - Executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme

"By contrast, both starvation and obesity are closely linked with poverty, and as such they are both symptoms of malnutrition."

"As countries develop, they often get a double problem. Affordable nutritious food is the way to address both. It's about having access to such food."

Jean-Claude Mbanya - Director of Cameroon's National Obesity Center

“It's not true that only the rich have problems with obesity and overweight, the poor suffer even more."

Sarbjit Nahal - Equity strategist at BAML

“Global obesity is a mega-investment theme for the next 25 years and beyond. Obesity may be the most pressing health challenge facing the world today and efforts to tackle it will shape thinking by policy makers and in boardrooms around the world."

Krisela Steyn - Retired director of the South African Medical Research Council's Chronic Disease and Lifestyle unit.

“We have gone from undernutrition to overnutrition without ever having passed healthy nutrition."

"We face a very difficult situation in trying to manage obesity. We are up against social and traditional norms that being fat is a sign that you are wealthy, you are successful, you are happy, that your husband can feed you."

"Plus the trend toward less physical activity and the viewpoint that if you are wealthy you don't sweat."

Jenny Cresswell - Chief author of the Lancet study

“Once people move to the city, their activity levels go down. They are no longer able to grow their own food. Instead they tend to rely on street hawkers and eat foods high in fat and sugar."

"Today, obesity in Africa is associated with wealth: the wealthier you are, the more likely you are to be overweight. But as populations get richer, it is expected that the picture will swing round and obesity will become associated with the poor."

Marc Van Ameringen - Executive director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition

“You cannot see undernourishment and obesity as separate phenomenons."

"Poor nutrition in the womb and during a child's early life often leads to obesity in later life."

Francesco Branca - WHO's head of nutrition for health and development

"The fight against obesity is... one of the most important factors in fighting non-communicable diseases."

Philippe Froguel - Chair in Genomic Medicine at Imperial College London

“Once a young child becomes obese, it's difficult for them to lose weight - so prevention is the best strategy and it has to begin as early as possible."

"Unfortunately, public prevention campaigns have been rather ineffective at preventing obesity in school-age children. Teaching parents about the dangers of over-feeding and bad nutritional habits at a young age would be much more effective."


Benjamin Caballero - Nutrition expert

"People living closer to a supermarket have better dietary intake and lower BMI scores than people who live farther away."

Allison B. Rosen - Associate Professor in the Division of Biostatistics and Health Services Research, Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Medical School.

“Losing weight is harder than quitting smoking. People don’t have to smoke to live. People have to eat to live."

Dr. Philip James - British chairman of the International Obesity Task Force and Honorary member of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

“We are not dealing with a scientific or medical problem. We're dealing with an enormous economic problem that, it is already accepted, is going to overwhelm every medical system in the world."

"Many of my colleagues now talk of diabesity, not obesity and diabetes, but diabesity as a single continuum, and what we've got is an unprecedented epidemic of diabetes."

"At the same time, the food industry has been built to make sure that people don't have a shortage of food, and now the companies are doing everything to sell their products which means I'm being bombarded because everyone wants me to buy their particular brand, so my brain is trying to shut down on my intake and the food industry is trying to get me to eat more."

Godfrey Xuereb - WHO expert

“In many high-income countries the problem is levelling off, but the worst problems we see are in low- and middle-income countries where the rate of obesity... is increasing at a very fast pace."

Professor Paul Zimmet - Foundation Director of the International Diabetes Institute, Director Emeritus of the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute and Hon. Professor at Monash and Deakin Universities, Melbourne, Australia and at the Graduate School of Public Health of the University of Pittsburgh, USA.

“Today when people are living longer lives as a result of improvements in science and medicine, we face the horrifying scenario that many parents will outlive their children because of this affluenza epidemic."

"Our whole environment has changed, we now live in the most obesegenic environment in human history and, for example, exercise is being engineered out of our lives just by the way we live, by our modern society, and that's a very important factor."

Prof Emma Whitelaw - Molecular biologist and NHMRC Australia Fellow at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research.

“I think, ultimately, people should be reminded of the fact that they have control over their body weight despite all the genetics. We know that if you stop eating you get thinner and ultimately the power is in their hands."

"Two of the world’s largest epidemics are centered around food. In order to solve these crises, education and reallocation of food resources are imperative."

Matt O'Neill - Nutritionist & Chief Jumpstarter at MetabolicJumpstart.com

"Based on expert predictions, within the next 20 to 30 years we're looking at 100 percent of the population being overweight or obese. The real problem is that if we don't get a handle on it now, that even before the end of our generation we're going to be paying higher fees for health funds, there's going to be longer waiting lists for government in terms of getting into the hospitals and people are going to find their quality of life disappears at an earlier age."

"We hear this time and time again from the government, it's our own responsibility, there is personal responsibility, but this problem is so big that we actually need a combination of both solutions, both individuals putting up their hands and saying I will try and eat less and perhaps the government saying I'm going to help you by reducing your exposure to high fat and high sugar foods."

Kirstine Lumb - Investigative journalist

“Diabetes is no longer just a scourge of the developed and wealthy nations. In the bid to feed the famines we have oversupplied people who genetically are not prepared for a plethora of food, nor a sedentary lifestyle."

"There is another intriguing finding, it's looking as though it's not just genetic shuffling of genes over the centuries that effects our predisposition to obesity, but we can actually alter the way in which genes function, merely on the basis of a mother's diet during pregnancy."

"So much of the once undernourished world is now over nourished; and the multinational food companies are so powerful in international trade that we will continue to be force fed their products. This is not a matter of weight being attractive or acceptable, it's the fact that obesity is leading to extremely serious health problems."


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