Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/967/26310
From The Socialist newspaper, 18 October 2017
Obesity epidemic: end food market anarchy
Food bank users, photo James (Creative Commons) (Click to enlarge)
At any given time nearly a billion people on the planet are hungry, and a third are malnourished. And yet a new report says the growing obesity crisis is set to cost $1.2 trillion a year worldwide from 2025.
Why is it that when so many workers and poor are going hungry, so many others of us are likely to suffer from obesity?
The research, conducted by the World Obesity Day organisation, found the US is likely to face the biggest health bill - from $325 billion a year in 2014 to $555 billion in 2020. That would factor in at $4.2 trillion over the next eight years.
Meanwhile the cost of treating obese people in Britain could reach as much as $247 billion.
The human cost of obesity-related illnesses like heart disease and diabetes is much more difficult to quantify. It will be felt most of all by those who can just about afford to pay for essentials, including food, especially with a cash-strapped NHS.
The establishment media often points the blame at working people.
But if it is the problem of individuals, why is the crisis set to become an epidemic worldwide? If the problem is simply 'awareness', why is it getting worse?
The fact is that the problem is systemic, and bound up with inequality and the profit system.
Good quality ingredients and the time to prepare them - with artificially inflated prices, combined with stagnation at best in real wages - are out of reach for many people. At the same time, the number of families depending on tinned meals from foodbanks has sharply risen.
There is enough food produced globally not only to feed everybody, but to feed everybody well. The irrational capitalist system throws away millions of tons of food every day, and with it deprives billions of human beings of the basic requirements for life.
The Socialist Party says that instead, production and distribution should be collectively owned and democratically planned. Then decent quality food can be produced sustainably, to ensure no one goes hungry again.
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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
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In The Socialist 18 October 2017:
What we think
Tories torn - bin them now
Socialist Party news and analysis
Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now
Young people being strangled by debts
Tories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!
Obesity epidemic: end food market anarchy
What we saw
Socialist Party workplace news
Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers
PCS ballots members on the pay cap
Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems
Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni
North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses
Unite local government sector plans strike ballot
Salford Unison condemns pay cuts
October revolution 1917
Russia, October 1917: When workers took power
October 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'
October 1917 centenary pull-out and poster
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
No cuts - hands off King George A&E!
Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?
Uprising to save the NHS!
Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP
Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison
Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea
International socialist news and analysis
Campaign against political repression in Hong Kong
Socialist Party comments and reviews
Powerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle
Conference on state spies: who's watching who?
'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future
The Socialist 18 October 2017 |
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