The Worldwide Obesity Epidemic: More Prevalent Than Starvation

The epidemic of obesity could overwhelm our global economy far sooner than many experts expected, based on estimates the world's population of overweight people now exceeds the number who go hungry by some 20 percent. Scientists believe the number of overweight people has topped the 1 billion mark versus 800 million who go hungry.

Moreover, these alarming numbers -- based on tracking the health of some 16,000 Chinese residents since 1989 -- signal a frightening shift in the obesity epidemic from the rich to poorer folks living in rural and urban areas. Over the past 17 years, obesity grew from zero to 25 percent as residents began following more harmful Western diets and lifestyles. Some of the familiar culprits:

Rather than educating people to make healthier choices, however, researchers advocate tougher strategies -- for one, higher taxes based on sugar content, -- that will never fly in America or many other places. In reality, I believe there's nothing more powerful than sharing the true facts about the obesity epidemic as they come -- without "sugar-coating" them -- and showing people how to overcome this dreadful disease. Some simple lifestyle alterations you can do to get started on the path toward optimal health:

BBC News August 15, 2006

Sidney Morning Herald August 15, 2006

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