Food Times Blog

WHO Blames the Food Industry

Obesity has doubled over the last thirty years. In some European countries, if taken together with those who are overweight, the problem affects half of the population, and one out of three children (see Il Fatto Alimentare). This is a serious situation, for which the World Health Organization accuses the food industry. Production of unhealthy food, as well as promotion activities aimed at consumers feed obesity and seriously threaten public health, stated the general director of WHO, Margaret Chan, at the beginning of 2013 at the Ministerial Conference on Nutrition and Non-Communicable Diseases in Vienna. She indicated that the industry “finances research that helps perpetuate confusion among consumers” on the real causes of obesity, instead of reformulating food and beverage recipes “so that healthy products become the norm, instead of a niche segment.” Voluntary agreements have also yielded few results, stressed the head of WHO for Europe, Zsuzsanna Jakab, who invited the industry to take responsibility for the rampant rise in obesity.