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Need for urgent action to tackle obesity, climate change: Lancet

IANS  |  New Delhi 

The pandemics of obesity, undernutrition, and are interlinked and represent the paramount challenge for humans, the and our planet, says a Lancet report, that presses the need for urgent action.

The report of the "Lancet Commission on Obesity", based on 14 countries including India, demonstrates the need to take a hard line against powerful commercial interests and rethink global economic incentives within the system in order to tackle these joint pandemics termed as 'The Global Syndemic'.

"We are already late, sitting at the pinnacle and action is needed at the national level as well as ground level," Shifalika Goenka, at Public Foundation of

"We need our own national monitoring framework with specific indicators which help monitor the targets at ground level for drivers of under nutrition, over and climate change," added Goenka, who is also the on Commission.

in all its forms, including and obesity, is by far the biggest cause of ill and premature death globally. and are expected to be made significantly worse by

"Until now, and have been seen as polar opposites of either too few or too many calories," said of the

"They are both driven by the same unhealthy, inequitable systems, underpinned by the same political economy that is single-focused on economic growth, and ignores the negative and equity outcomes.

"has the same story of profits and power ignoring the environmental damage caused by current systems, transportation, urban design and land use," Swinburn said.

The report explained that obesity, under nutrition, and climate change also interact with each other.

For example, climate change will increase under through increased from extreme weather events, droughts, and shifts in agriculture.

Likewise, increases the risk of and the harms caused due to obesity.

Climate change may also affect prices of basic food commodities, especially fruit and vegetables, potentially increasing consumption of processed foods.

Driving these 'The Global Syndemic' are food and agriculture policies, transportation, urban design and -- which in turn are driven by policies and economic incentives that promote overconsumption and inequalities.

The report calls to establish a Framework Convention on (FCFS) -- similar to global conventions for tobacco control and climate change -- to restrict the influence of the in policy making and to mobilise national action for healthy,

"The prevailing business model of and companies that focus on maximising short-term profits leads to overconsumption of and beverages in both high-income countries and increasingly in low and middle-income countries," said Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief,

Led by the (New Zealand), the (US), and (UK), the report is the result of a three-year project led by 43 experts from a broad range of expertise from 14 countries.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 28 2019. 10:40 IST