Forty years ago, who would have predicted that obesity would become a more critical global health issue than malnutrition and starvation? The World Health Organization coined the term "globesity" to describe the current phenomenon.
Today, the total number of overweight people (1.3 billion) surpasses the number of hungry by several hundred million, according to Gary Stix in his article "A Question of Sustenance," Scientific American, September 2007, p. 54. Mr. Stix paints a bleak picture and believes that "...few good solutions exist to deal with the emerging epidemic."
Unlike Mr. Stix, I am a little more optimistic, especially when I read about efforts underway to shift our thinking so that we will change our eating habits. For some interesting reading on first-hand perspectives of people who are trying to make a difference on the front-line battle against obesity, you might want to look at Perspectives in Health Magazine. Its articles are both informative and encouraging.
I'm not in a position to tackle this worldwide problem, but that doesn't mean I have to sit idly by. First, I can set a good example. Second, I can use my talents and resources to highlight the importance of addressing this issue among my neighbors, family and friends.
What action can you take? As a species, are human beings limited to two undesirable choices: famine or globesity? Or will we somehow muddle through this crisis and find a solution? I'm optimistic. Are you?