The George Washington University has joined Auckland University, the World Obesity (www.worldobesity.org, a charitable non-government organization of 26 commissioners from 14 countries representing 23 disciplines) and the Lancet to form the Commission on Obesity.
Their joint efforts lead to a report published on Jan 27, 2019. As they explored the scientific evidence related to obesity, they noted the need to expand their recommendations and reflect on effects of three global epidemics: Obesity, under-nutrition and climate change. They conclude the interaction between these three major challenges has created a “syndemic”: a cluster of joint epidemics that interact to multiply effects of each other. They interestingly explain how combined together, many seemingly distant factors have helped bring us to this crossroad, where obesity claims our health even as we face under-nutrition on a global scale. They use the term “policy inertia” to describe the collective inefficiency in solving the problem and explore the root causes of it:
- inadequate political leadership to enact needed policies
- strong opposition to corrective policies by powerful commercial interests
- lack of demand for action by the public.
- lack of appreciation of health and economic burdens caused by obesity to generate the public demand or political will
- lack of appreciation of systemic connection of obesity to global malnutrition and climate change
The full report may be accessed through the following page:
Lastly, the report urges individuals and communities to work harder to make healthy food more accessible, affordable, and available. In the West Lafayette area, local food growers like Austin Towers and small grocers like Sunspot are providing new choices for consumers.