Alarm in developing countries. Urgent nutrition education


Obesity and overweight in developing countries have quadrupled in the past 30 years. 250 million cases in the 1980s, 1 billion today. Several populations in North Africa, the Middle East and Latin America have already reached the levels of distress in Europe, where 58 percent of citizens have an out-of-standard body mass index. The data come from the ‘Future Diets’ report, just published by the ‘Overseas Development Institute’ (ODI), a British NGO for international cooperation.

Economic growth is unfortunately accompanied by dizzying increases in the consumption of sugar, ‘bad’ fats and sodium. ‘Junk-food’ and gargantuan portions cause new forms of malnutrition, with a health risk of epidemic proportions. What to do?

Effective nutrition education campaigns are essential-along with other measures-to reduce premature mortality. A good example is the Mediterranean diet, which, combined with a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise, can ensure well-being and longevity.