Governments should take action to curb over eating in a similar way to measures taken to limit smoking, warns a new report from UK think tank the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).
The Future Diets report claimed that the number of overweight and obese people in emerging nations had nearly quadrupled to reach 1bn since 1980. The change reflected the increasing substitution of cereals and grains for meat and dairy products, fats, sugars and oils.
Nearly two thirds (64%) of Britons are classified as being overweight or obese.
The global obesity epidemic will lead to a big increase in heart attacks, strokes and diabetes, the report predicted.
Stronger public health measures
Steve Wiggins, one of the report’s authors, said governments around the world should adopt stronger public health measures, similar to action taken in developed nations to combat smoking.
“Politicians need to be less shy about trying to influence what food ends up on our plates,” he said.
“The challenge is to make healthy diets viable whilst reducing the appeal of foods which carry a less certain nutritional value.”
Read the full report here .
Meanwhile, 29M Britons, or 55% of the population, had tried to lose weight last year, claimed a report from Mintel published yesterday (December 2).