Obesity is Now a Greater Health Concern than Hunger
Our Industrialized Food System Promotes Both Obesity and Malnourishement
The industrialization and centralization of food production was done to increase farmers’ capacity to grow more food at a lower cost. But, a core principle was lost in this efficiency equation, that of food quality and nutrient density.
Today, we have ample amounts of “good-looking” foods, thanks to genetic engineering and agricultural chemicals. What you don’t see is the loss of nutrients. Tests reveal that the nutrient content of foods has dramatically declined since the introduction of mechanized farming in Y 1925.
As just one example, to receive the same amount of iron you used to get from 1 apple in Y 1950, by Y 1998 you had to eat 26 apples, this is a direct consequence of industrial farming techniques and use of chemicals that destroy soil quality by killing essential microbes.
We now know that, just as the human gut microbiome plays integral roles in human health, so the soil microbiome influences nutrient uptake and plant health. Soil microbes even help regulate the invasion of pests.
It is not surprising then that as nutrient density declined and toxic exposures via food increased, obesity and chronic disease rates have dramatically risen, so much so that obesity now is overtaking hunger as the # 1 global health concern.
In Y 1950, an estimated 700-M people were starving; obesity affected approximately 100-M, primarily in wealthy nations. These statistics have changed dramatically over the past 70 years as the industrialization of agriculture has become the norm.
By Y 2010, the world’s hungry had grown to 800-M while the number of obese citizens ballooned to 500-M. Four years later, 641-M people were obese,and estimates suggest that by Y 2030, more than 1-B people worldwide will fall into this category.
This would not be happening were it not for the adoption and spread of processed foods as dietary staples.
Along with excess body weight come a wide range of other health problems and associated health care costs. In the US, just 8 obesity-related diseases account for 75% of health care costs.
These diseases include type 2 diabetes, which now affects nearly 1 in 11 adults worldwide, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s.
In fact, 20% American deaths is now associated with obesity.
The ramifications of poor diet and toxic exposures from food are perhaps most notable in the US, where for the 1st time in 2 decades, life expectancy has actually declined.
Now 50% of all Americans now struggle with some kind of chronic illness, and the cost of healthcare in the US accounts for 17% of the GDP. The direct and indirect annual cost of diseases attributed to obesity alone tops $1.4-T
All of these statistics tie back to our food supply, starting with how food is grown.
On the whole, there is no way to reverse these disease rates without addressing agriculture and food production, our very lives depend on it.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively