Global F&V Newsletter

How to tackle obesity?


The prevalence of obesity has risen rapidly in the last two decades, especially among subpopulations exposed to cheap ultra-processed foods. On current trends, obesity is expected to affect 18% of men and more than 21% of women by 2025. In the present issue of The Global Fruit & Veg Newsletter (GFVN), Jean-Michel Lecerf, based on the publication of Jaacks LM., present the four stages of the obesity transition since 1975. Recognising the rising health crisis, the members of the World Health Assembly agreed in 2013 a target of ‘no increase in the prevalence of adult obesity or diabetes’ above 2010 levels by 2025. To meet their commitments, governments are encouraged to consider a range of population wide policies to influence health behaviour and reduce the obesogenicity of the environment. Prominent among these policies, school-based interventions to change children’s behaviour are explored in this issue of GFVN by Naser Alsharairi. Several countries have experience of this policy as well as other relevant policies and their impact. School interventions can be difficult to sustain but if effective can improve health for a whole generation and the next generation beyond. These approaches are not alternatives but should be part of a comprehensive suite of population-level interventions. Finally, Thierry Gibault presents the review of D’Innocenzo S. et al. which aims to reiterate the importance of the Mediterranean diet as a dietary model to promote health for everyone, and especially as a model for overweight and obesity prevention.