RIO DE JANEIRO — Nutrition experts gathered here last week for the World Nutrition Rio 2012 meeting harped upon familiar themes: obesity and unhealthy food. Yet surprisingly many of them, in leading academic and government positions of public health, apparently have all but given up on tried-and-true public-health campaigns.Commentary:
"Want to end obesity? Then talk to the ministries of finance, not health," said Philip James of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and president of the London-based International Association for the Study of Obesity. "The impact of health education is zero."
The food industry is making us fat, according to James, and efforts to educate the public on proper nutrition or to ask industry to voluntarily reduce unhealthy ingredients such as sugar, salt, fat and myriad additives is "a load of diverting, delaying rubbish," he said. Government-initiated economic policies are needed to make healthy food affordable.
Now this makes a lot of sense!! The latest US report on what to do about obesity is, IMHO, doomed to failure. According to the participants in the RIO DE JANEIRO international symposium, however, you have to go after the financial end of the food industry to control obesity. They flatly rejected typical health programs. I love it.
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