A combination of unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles is sending obesity rates soaring in developed and low-income countries across the world, adding to the global burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
On World Food Day, Lifestyle Medicine Global Alliance (LMGA) is urging global communities to consider food as medicine.
“There is growing evidence today that the vast majority of chronic disease is rooted in unhealthy lifestyle choices,” said Margarete Ezinwa, Director of Lifestyle Medicine Global Alliance.
“By eating healthy, being physically active, getting restorative sleep, managing stress, avoiding risky substance abuse, and having positive social connections, we can prevent, treat – and often reverse non-communicable diseases.” she added.
According to the UN, over 670 million adults around the world are obese. Some 120 million girls and boys age five to 19 are obese, and over 40 million children under five are overweight. An estimated $2 trillion US is spent each year to treat health problems caused by obesity.
LMGA is calling for action across sectors to help achieve a world without non-communicable diseases, to make healthy and sustainable diets affordable and accessible to everyone.
“It’s time we start thinking about what we eat. The science overwhelmingly supports a predominantly whole food, plant-based diet, along with lifestyle changes to tackle NCDs head on,” Ezinwa said.