Malnutrition used to be one of the biggest problems facing the planet: except in the west, starvation was rarely more than a bad harvest away. Today, except in sub-Saharan Africa, that’s been replaced by obesity as a worldwide problem:
Here’s a good news story that warmed the cockles of my heart as I wolfed down my breakfast of chocolate croissant with extra-large latte — obesity is now more of a problem than starvation. As we report:
With the exception of sub-Saharan Africa, eating too much is now a more serious risk to the health of populations than eating poorly, found the Global Burden of Disease study, published in a special edition of The Lancet.
Across the world, there has been significant success in tackling malnutrition, with deaths down two-thirds since 1990 to less than a million by 2010.
But increasing prosperity has led to expanding waistlines in countries from Colombia to Kazakhstan, as people eat more and get less everyday exercise.
[. . .]
Likewise the fact that humanity can not only feed billions of people, but feed them well enough to give many of them Type-2 diabetes, shouldn’t be considered a worry but, after the Moon landings, perhaps humanity’s greatest achievement yet. Yes, we’re all stuffing ourselves silly, but we evolved in an environment where food was scarce and fats were vital to our survival. The very fact that, despite numerous doomsayers, we continue to overcome our problems, is something we should be celebrating.