Junk food: it makes us sicker than tobacco and alcohol together

A report published by a group of English experts alerting about junk food damage on our health. This is all the more alarming because malnutrition is being consumed more and more every day, causing an explosion in the world of the number of obese or overweight people.

“Alcohol abuse is dangerous for your health”, “Smoking causes cancer”, “Get out covered” … So many slogans of everyday language to warn against the dangers of alcohol, tobacco or intimacy unprotected. Formulas much more striking than the disappointing “For your health, eat balanced”, we will agree. But unfortunately, according to the findings of a recent report by the English panel of experts Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, junk food is the number one risk to our health. Poor nutrition would cause many more diseases than tobacco, alcohol and unprotected intimate relationships combined.

To corroborate their comments, experts rely in particular on this graph, the result of a study conducted last year. This chart discloses the top 11 disease risk factors ranked by the number of years of healthy life lost worldwide. Six, including high blood pressure, diabetes, excess cholesterol or cardiovascular disease, are in this ranking and are directly related to the way we eat.

– Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition

The data collected here certify that a diet that does not meet nutritional requirements is therefore the worst for our health. At the same time, and as if to encourage the world’s political leaders to take responsibility for taking action, the report states that junk food is gaining ground every day, even in developing countries, paradoxically also facing serious problems. under-nutrition.

For these countries, located mainly in Africa and Asia, the study shows that the curve of obesity is catching up, or even exceed, that of undernutrition.

Examples such as Senegal or Ethiopia are alarming: between 2011 and 2030, the number of diabetics in these countries will increase from 3.1 to 6.1 million, respectively, and from 1.4 to 2.7 million. of people, double the number.

40% of the Terrestrial population will be overweight in 2030

On a global scale, the report’s report is identical: it confirms that the number of overweight people is constantly increasing. Estimated today at 30%, it should reach 40% by 2030. This serious public health problem is also accompanied by a decisive financial component. According to the figures of the French government, in 2012, the social cost of obesity amounted to 20 billion euros, an amount comparable to that of alcohol (15 billion euros) and tobacco (26 , 6 billion euros).

However, proposals have been made for many years now to ensure that we reduce our consumption of high-fat and high-sugar products. The idea of ​​a 5-color logo (from green to red) displayed on products to give their nutritional quality has for example been considered by Marisol Touraine (Minister of Health).

Concerned to preserve their interests, the industrialists obtained the realization of a study financed by the Health insurance (2.2 million euros), which will be returned in December. Supposed to evaluate four different labeling systems, it is controlled by two committees gangrened by the suspicions of conflicts of interest, revealed in a survey of the World.

Several expert members of these committees even left the ship during this study, estimating the dice piped. Professor Serge Hercberg, president of the national plan nutrition nutrition (PNNS) and the origin of the system of the logo in 5 colors, was discarded. His idea, acclaimed by UFC Choose, is deemed too stigmatizing by manufacturers, who asked Stéphane Le Foll stopping the research work conducted by his team, in a letter that Mediapart has procured. Five years ago, the same lobbying had already prevented the European Commission from pushing for clear labeling of food products.

Also, at the beginning of September, the Treasury Department submitted in a report another proposal to stem the consumption of junk food bad for our health: a tax on food products favoring overweight. This “tax on unhealthy food” was swept aside by Michel Sapin, the Minister of the Economy and Finance, and Christian Eckert, Secretary of State for the Budget, on the pretext that it was too complicated to put in place and that the government was trying to lower taxes and remove taxes. Other countries, faced with an even greater health emergency, had no choice but to try.

Mexico, where 70% of the population is overweight, introduced in 2014 an 8% tax on foods high in calories and 10% on sweet drinks. In one year, their consumption dropped by 8.5%.

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