According to an American study, half the world will be obese by twenty years. Explanation of a paradox facing hunger in the world.

So that a human being six in the world has suffered from hunger in 2009, and the food resources of the planet are becoming a luxury, a report of the International Journal of Obesity in 2008 indicated that the globe should have about 3.5 billion obese by 2030. How can we explain this paradox?

What is obesity?

Recognized as a disease in 1997, obesity is defined as “the state of a person with a body mass greater than what is otherwise desirable, acceptable.” It is recognized from the calculation of the body mass index (BMI), and interpretation of the results is such that:

* between 18.5 and 25 normal weight;
* between 25 and 30, there are overweight;
* beyond 30, we talk about obesity.

Risks associated with obesity are multiple and can be medical (diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease), psychological (complex, depression) or social (discrimination). In addition, obesity and economic cost ” represents 2-7 percent of total health expenditure in industrialized countries. ”


Obesity around the world in a few figures

United States, one in three adults is obese. In thirty years, the average weight of 10 kg was swollen. Further south, the continent has not been spared by the phenomenon, and Mexico lists no less than 30% of obesos . Overseas, obesity is also gaining ground and now affects 15 to 20% of middle-aged adults. Thus, in France , “32% of people over 18 are overweight, and 14.5% meet the criteria for obesity.” If the country is better student than the United Kingdom or Germany “for 12 years, each has French [however] grown an average of 3.1 kg.” Stigma of poverty, obesity today is no longer the preserve of “privileged.” Now, North or South, the new victims are disadvantaged social groups , with strong growth in the South and in the developing countries of West Africa and South America, China, India, Thailand, etc. Paradoxically, while part of the population of these countries is undernourished, the other is now a victim of overweight.

Obesity in developing countries: causes and origin

Urbanization in developing countries: Between town and country, the gap is wide, and urban areas are more advanced in the transition than rural areas, FAO said . For this reason, they have a higher rate of obesity much higher. Including food choice more eclectic and varied, but also work less physical effort than in the countryside. The fact that they are more likely to concentrate in cities does not help (1).

The dietary acculturation, the American influence

The increasing import of food in the industrialized world including North America to developing countries, is one of the main causes of obesity. Because: cereals and vegetables, gradually giving way to fats and sugars. According Earth and Life, ” raw food imports by developing countries increased by 115% [between 1970 and 2000]. ”

The increase in income encourages eating more fat

Also according to the FAO, “as incomes rise, the poor nations also have access to a diet relatively high in fat. “A diet consisting of 20% fat corresponded to a GDP of 1475 dollars in 1962 against 750 in 1990 (2). Metabolism, urbanization, sedentary lifestyle, mechanization. Many new factors that promote obesity in developing countries. Countries where the gap between rich and poor is widening every day a little more.

All obese by twenty years of solutions?

If, in individual cases, many solutions are available to obesity physical activity, healthy diet. it is not just a global perspective. Certainly, there are a plethora of proposals, such as restricting the location of fast food or regulating imports, but their application depends on the goodwill of the “great of this world” that are officers, shareholders or the organizations and international health authorities. A question of modernity, therefore, but also and most importantly money.