Three of the most serious hazards faced by human beings on the planet at the moment are not separate, unrelated dangers, but manifestations of a common threat that has not yet been noticed, scientists say. more than 40 experts have identified what he calls the Global Syndicate: three interconnected pandemics of health effectively organized by shadow manipulation and the impact of protected commercial interests – a whole defined as "Big Food." Among them, the researchers argue that the related interplay between obesity, malnutrition and climate change is the most serious threat to human and planetary health, a "primary challenge" for our species and the environment.
health hazards are seen as separate, even controversial problems, but the authors of the new report insist on another. "So far malnutrition and obesity are seen as polar opposites of too few or too many calories," said global health scientist Boyd Swinburn of the University of Auckland. "Indeed, both are driven by the same unhealthy, unfair food systems, backed by the same political economy that focuses on economic growth, and neglects the negative health and justice outcomes."
The "environmental science" of climate change is again often seen as a hindrance to nutrition science and food policy ̵
"The joining of the three pandemics together, as it allows us to consider common driving forces and common solutions to break the decades of policy momentum."
The research team, chaired by Swinburn and Obesity Prevention Investigator William Diet of the University George Washington – began studying their project three years ago
Initially, with the only mandate to explore the engines of obesity.
Only when they diminished the seemingly insoluble nature of the dilemma the larger, overarching question – the Global Syndicate – turned to the focus. When they redraw the problem, the sad fact of the growing prevalence of obesity in society becomes easier to understand.
"No country has successfully changed its epidemic The systemic and institutional factors of obesity remain largely unsustainable," the authors write in his report.
According to the researchers, this is because even when governments approve political stopping recommendations and overcoming the degree of obesity, their efforts are not translated into meaningful or measurable change because of what they call "policy momentum." In part this momentum is the result of inadequate political leadership and partly because of the lack of public demand for change, but we can not deny the strong influence of Big Food players, researchers say, acting in constant resistance to any changes in the status quo
"The similarities with Big Tobacco hide in the damage they cause and the behavior of corporations that benefit from them, "said Diet, who, together with his co-authors, advocates a global treaty to limit the power and influence of the food industry in drafting the government's policy ka. on food systems would help individual countries benefit from commercial interests, redirect the huge subsidies currently beneficial to unhealthy industries and ensure full transparency. "
In addition to the restructuring of economic incentives, researchers are calling for $ 1 billion to support social movements that require political action. we rethink how we see these health pandemics: not as separate things, but as a common, connected problem, ultimately supported by giant companies that have no heartbeat in our health or the planet. "
" With the current trajectories of economy population growth and food security, it is estimated that by 2050 total demand for food and feed of animal origin will increase by 50% and 70% respectively, with further destabilizing impacts of deforestation, extinction of species and accelerating climate change, "explains the editorial commentary of the study published by The Lancet .
This is a provocative argument – and follows directly from related studies recently published in The Lancet which made the case that radical global nutrition will need to be altered to be able to feed in a sustainable way about three decades.
Of course, not everyone agrees with the villain's characteristic. the key players of Big Food; "Only those with the most extreme viewpoints may believe that our industry's refusal to sit at the policy table will help improve diet and nutrition," said Tim Richtr, Chief Operating Officer of UK Food
Similar positions on the new document were adopted by the Washington-based International Council of Beverage Associations and Coca-Cola.
Researchers argue that this resistance to their conclusions is unnecessary, even if it is not unexpected, given their conclusions.
"We are not trying to get out of the food business," said one of the authors, food policy researcher Corina Hawkes of City, University of London.
"We want it to exist, but we want it to exist in a different way."
It is not quite clear where we are going here, but the broad new report does not suggest a lack of recommendations and strategies for governments. one In no case, it is clear that something must change – and quickly.
"What we are doing now is unsustainable," Ditz told the media during a conference call to discuss new findings.
The only thing we can hope for is that the sense of urgency will penetrate We do not have time
The findings have been reported in The Lancet