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Distorted Food Supply to Blame for Skyrocketing Obesity Crisis; Food Companies Must Stop Using Cheaper Sugars, Starches & Oi

Posted Dec 18 2008 8:12pm

Almost on the eve of Halloween, the biggest candy-pushing day of the year, the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) delivered horrifying new obesity estimates for kids.

Get ready to be downright frightened:Childhood obesity is expected to double by the end of the decade! And, this is, in part, due, the IOTF finds, to "historic food policies which have led to distorted food supplies and prices," reports.

Just look at these alarming figures:

By 2010, almost 287 million kids around the world will be obese, and by 2015, a whopping 700 million children will be weighing down the planet.

And that's just the obese youngsters. A devastating 2 billion overweight kids will be at risk for all kinds of diseases, too.

Professor Philip James, chair of the IOTF and the Presidential Council of the Alliance, warned that : "The rapid deterioration in diet and weight-related health is already becoming very obvious. One in three people born in the USA today is expected to develop type 2 diabetes, and the rest of the world is heading in the same direction."

These scary predictions were presented by the IOTF at the McGill Integrative Health Challenge Think Tank in Montreal this week.

Meanwhile, to fight this escalating epidemic, the IOTF released a new report, "Global strategies to prevent childhood obesity: Forming a societal plan that works," which appropriately calls for a mutli-sector approach, encompassing food and beverage industries, economists and government, as explains.

In more dignified language, of course, the IOTF basically politely blasts food and beverage companies, suggesting that they really need to get their act together and do away with those "cheaper oils, starches and sugars" and switch to a more healthy, nutritious focus.

Meanwhile, the report calls for removing subsidies from oil, fats and sugars, and promoting fruit and vegetables production to encourage consumption.

In particular, the report suggests 10 immediate measures, including changes to labeling, marketing, pricing availability and trade, to halt the "cataclysmic slide."

In addition to making recommendations, the IOTF's new report makes several very important observations on how food and beverage companies have been doing business:

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