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Global obesity a threat to mankind

by Bruno Deshayes on 28 Jul 2016 permalink
The poorest countries are now seen as a free for all, last marketing frontier by the junk food multinational giants. Subsidised Coke and free chocolate samples are being pushed into every remote hamlet to enslave the natives to a diet their body cannot handle.

The cheap supply of cooking oil and sugar is causing an epidemic of diabetes in India. Schools in Mexico guzzle Coke because it is cheaper than installing water purification. Marketing consultants tour the Brazilian slums to peddle Nestle's snack foods. They even use showboats up the Amazon river to promote their appealing merchandise.

The Chinese are trampling their weight into fitness gyms in the hope of arresting the effects of their munch-on-the-go lifestyle. Fatness is everywhere. Gluttony is taking the world by stealth.

Never mind global warming, the economy, conflicting ideologies and other world issues - we are fattening ourselves to the hilt. The West has a big responsibility to show leadership and progress but it is failing badly. The illusion of self-correcting free markets has failed to deliver anything of substance. Instead it is creating a playground for powerful conglomerates to push their agenda of profit and market dominance on weak local governments. But they will be the ones to foot the medical bills which are ballooning like the waistline of their constituents.

It is worth noting that the food giants marketing tsunami is a repeat of the techniques so successfully used by the tobacco lobby in the past. Colourful packaging, toys and games are there to bribe the parents into feeding their young the junk they don't need.

Coke is half price in rural areas as opposed to the price in downtown Mexico City. Obviously you have to be first before Pepsi gets here - never mind if children get rotten teeth with all that lolly water in their baby bottle.

In Brazil, the turning point is the explosion of local supermarkets complete with barcodes and point-of-sale terminals at the expense of the town square where small farmers used to sell their local produce. Consumers are switching from a diet of fruits and vegetables to one of processed foods rich in starch, fat and sugar. They are lured into leaving their traditional lifestyle to embrace progress and convenience. Their metabolism doesn't seem to agree - not knowing what to do with all those extra calories. People realise that once you put on weight, it is awfully difficult to get rid of it. An obese mother walks her child to school, half an hour each way - without any result on her condition.

Chris Harvey says:
Your clearly think deeply about a range of things, but I'm finding your musings aren't doing anything to help me, so I will be dropping out from your mailing list.

Bruno says:
Sorry to see you go. I thought you would have much to contribute but time is the essence, I understand.


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