The US is exporting obesity – and Trump is making the problem worse

The Guardian, December 5, 2017

Pushing processed foods and sedentary lifestyles on the world is jeopardising global health gains

As Donald Trump’s administration throws sharp elbows in trade negotiations and systematically rescinds regulations introduced by Barack Obama, one casualty is likely to be efforts to fight the global obesity epidemic. Left unchecked, rapidly rising obesity rates could slow or even reverse the dramatic gains in health and life expectancy that much of the world has enjoyed over the past few decades. And by forcing its food culture on countries like Mexico and Canada, the United States is making the problem worse.

One of the paradoxes of modern global capitalism is that whereas more than 800 million people in the world do not have enough to eat, an estimated 700 million people (including 100 million children) are obese. Of course, the two are not necessarily directly related. A considerable proportion of world hunger occurs in countries suffering from domestic strife or severe government dysfunction.

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