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17 March 2013

Obesity: The silent killer

I was listening to a panel discussion on the Bill Maher Show. The topic dealt with Obesity related illnesses.

Did you know that for the first time in the history of the world, in this year, more people died of Obesity related illnesses than due to poverty? This is a fascinating statistic.

Why are more people becoming obese? Is it bad food habits?

The reason according to the expert is that people eat more calories than nutrition. The reason is not that people like to eat calories. The reason is that Calories are cheap and nutrition is expensive. Calories provide the 'bang for the buck' that the nutrition do not provide. For example, for 3 dollars, you can get a MacDonald burger with all its fats and preservatives, but you can hardly buy anything nutritious with 3 dollars.

It seems the world over, calories are subsidized by the governments. The calories are big business. The calorie business is organized and is manned by some of the most high profile companies like MacDonald, KFC, PizzaHut, Dominos etc. These bring huge revenues to the governments in the form of taxes and they get a lot of tax breaks from the government. 

However, the nutrition industry is still disintegrated world over. The fruit and vegetable industry is still manned by small and marginal farmers the world over. So they do not have the organizing and lobbying capability of big businesses. 

Out of 100 Dollars of Subsidy, 70 Dollars go to the Calories food industry, 29 Dollars go to Calorie Drinks industry and only 1 Dollar goes to the nutrition industry.

So to me it seems that it is very easy to fight obesity. Just reallocate the subsidy in favor of nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables.

Be a vegetarian...

What say?

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