Obesity & Economic Development in Low income countries

Obesity & Economic Development in Low income countries

Over the past few decades, low and middle income countries have seen major demographic,
epidemiological, and nutrition transitions fueled by economic development and globalization.
These changes, along with technology and urbanization, are all contributing to new health
patterns today. The increasingly sedentary nature of work and modes of transportation have
reduced the need for physical activity. Dietary shifts away from traditional foods to energy
dense, high fat fast food has increased caloric intake. This imbalance of decreasing physical
activity and increasing caloric intake is the fundamental cause of obesity (fn def.).
Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975 (WHO). _______ What began as only a
problem for the affluent world is now a global epidemic. Places like ____ (%) and _____ (%) are
seeing even more dramatic rises in obesity rates, especially among women and children. Every
country is experiencing rising rates, but developing countries are now seeing the biggest
increases as their populations grow and urbanize while developed countries’ rates are plateauing.
They are also the most vulnerable so the economic impact of obesity in the developing world is
especially brutal. ### Less developed countries also face a double burden of disease as they
continue to deal with undernutrition and infectious disease as obesity and noncommunicable
diseases (NCDs) rates rise steadily. Obesity is a precursor to several deadly non-communicable
diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain forms of cancer. Increased health care
costs, decreased productivity, and premature deaths are just some of the factors that are leading
obesity to become the most costly challenge the developing world faces. On the basis of
wide-ranging evidence, the World Economic Forum now ranks NCDs as one of the top global
threats to economic development (cite). Not a single nation has been able to reverse the growth
of obesity.
Obesity in developing nations, where nearly two-thirds of the obese population live, is
inextricably linked to the shifts in economic and nutritional transitions.
What can developing countries learn from the economic impact that obesity has on them and
their ability to counter the economic practices that enhance the obesity crisis? Foreign
investment in fast food, stress on health systems and government budgets, resource access to
nutrition/healthy food. What developing countries have to work with in balancing the money that
comes from foreign investment/food industry and the detrimental economic effects of an obese
population. Realizing that the political economy seeks to build from the biomedical and
biosocial.Exploring the nutritional transition as it fits with the demographic, epidemiologic, and
economic transitions.
Here we will discuss three competing theories (biomedical, biosocial and political economy
theory) to address obesity prevention

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