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Obesity causes 4 million deaths per year and the Progressives want to put an end to it


08 Sep 2021


Health & Consumers

Progressives from three continents will debate the issue of obesity – a growing major public health problem and the leading cause of preventable death worldwide. The webinar will take place on 9 September 2021 (Thursday) from 14:00 to 15:30 (CET). The Global Progressive Forum event will be livestreamed on the following websites:

The problem of obesity affects one in four young people in rich countries and one in eight in the developing countries all over the world. The phenomenon affects the poorest populations most severely as "bad foods" tend to cost less, further accentuating social inequalities. A healthy diet remains the privilege of rich societies, but even there high levels of fats, salt and sugar in processed food produced by the food industries are the reason for many diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular issues and some types of cancer. This is combined with aggressive and effective marketing practices making the problem very acute. This is the reason why the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament will fight for European legislation on this matter, taking up the example of the best progressive practices already used elsewhere in the world in places like Chile, Mexico and the State of California, US.

The event is part of the preparatory series ahead of the upcoming Global Progressive Forum (GPF) in November 2021. It is hosted by Andreas Schieder, Austrian member of the European Parliament from the Group of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and co-chair of the GPF. The list of speakers include the Chilean senator Guido GirardiJulieta Ponce Sánchez, director of the Food Orientation Centre in Mexico City; Raj Patel professor at the Texas University in Austin, US; and Jytte Guteland, a Swedish S&D member of the European Parliament and the S&D spokesperson in the Committee on the environment, public health and food security. Read the full details here.

Andreas Schieder, an Austrian S&D member of the European Parliament and co-chair of the Global Progressive Forum, said:

"Poverty is among the main reasons why people are forced to reduce their consumption of healthy food and buy products that directly cause obesity. So decreasing poverty means increasing life expectancy and this is a cause for all the progressives in the world to fight for. We want to examine how multinational food industry corporations provide consciously low-quality food – high in sugar, fat and many food additives – at much more competitive prices than fresh products. This is an issue we, the Progressives, care about so come and join us to debate on it.”

Jytte Guteland, a Swedish S&D member of the European Parliament and the S&D spokesperson of the Committee on the environment, public health and food security, said:

"All the world is focused on the coronavirus pandemic now, but it would be wrong to consider it as the only immediate threat to our health. The silent threat of obesity is putting lives in danger all over the world and we, the Progressives, have to exchange best practices on how to deal with the giants of the food industry. Chile, Mexico and the State of California have already taken some steps in this direction. Let us debate, share ideas and see what can be done for our citizens to be healthy – one of the top priorities for every Progressive decision maker."



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