Creating and curing obesity

Better late than never, I guess. I’ve only just realized that the September issue of Scientific American was entitled Feast and Famine, and juxtaposed the ironic twin killer trends of hunger and obesity. Most of the material is unfortunately behind a paywall, but I have borrowed a hardcopy from a colleague and will be reading through it in the near future. If you’ve already done so and have any comments on what the various high-profile authors involved say about agrobiodiversity, let us know. One commentator has said:

This issue of Scientific American tells us there’s money to be made by creating and then curing obesity. That’s what the science approach to obesity is about and what the prevention-based approach is up against.1

Do you agree with this take?

  1. I’ve borrowed my title from this article. []

5 Replies to “Creating and curing obesity”

  1. I don’t think there has been any capitalist conspiracy to make people fat and then get rich off curing obesity….I read most of the Scientific American issue. The world needs to put more emphasis on fruits and vegetables and less on cereals. In the US, we could split the subsidies (as opposed to the system now where cereals gets 95+%). Internationally, we need to promote an R+D infrastructure more focused on fruits and vegetables. Humans evolved to eat fruits, vegetables and meat. Only in the last 10,000 years have we been wildly successful at producing cereals. We need to get back in line with the longer part of our evolutionary history.

  2. Nah, I don’t think that sort of thing will help. Made me think of this – http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/10/dining/10pick.html

    What we need is for fruit and vegetable prices to go down, so people will buy more. Start off by shifting some of the cereal subsidies to fruits and vegetables. Then put R+D money into fruits and vegetable research so that what happened with the CG center crops happens with fruits and vegetables (yields up, prices down)……Has anybody done some research on that? This is the sort of research that IFPRI should be doing. BTW, the high value crops challenge program proposal was rejected by the CG Science Council. We need to see why? But I suspect that the prospect of fruits and vegetables is too daunting, too challenging. And it would be hard, no doubt. But now that cereal prices are high there is a window of opportunity to do it…

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