12 November 2010
By Kounteya Sinha
New Delhi, India
Arrest Trend By Taxing Junk Food: Study
Published in the Lancet on Thursday by the Organization for Economic Co–operation and Development (OECD), the study warns that low–income countries cannot cope with the health consequences of wide scale obesity. When compared to the other five countries, the percentage of adult women and men who are overweight in India was found to be lowest – 14% and 18%, respectively. In comparison, 23% women and 32% men are overweight in China.
"In absolute numbers, the burden would be mammoth in India and China," experts said. According to estimates in the study, the annual cost of broad–based prevention strategies tackling obesity and other health threats, such as alcohol consumption, smoking, high blood pressure and cholesterol, would be less than $2 per person per year in India and China, less than $3 per head in Brazil and around $4 per person in South Africa, Russia and Mexico.
Upto 4,42,000 life years could be gained through a combination of prevention programmes in India every year. The cost–effectiveness ratio of a prevention strategy would be $268 per life year gained in good health in India and $380 in China, the study said. OECD lead author Michele Cecchini said, "The results varied across countries surveyed. Seven in 10 Mexican adults are overweight or obese, while nearly half of all Brazilians, Russians and South Africans are also in this category. China and India report lower levels of obesity, but are also rapidly moving in the wrong direction."
Weight & Watch
- Almost1 in 5 men & over 1 in 6 women are overweight
- The study warns that low–income countries cannot cope with the health consequences of wide scale obesity
- The annual cost of broad–based prevention strategies would be less than $2 per person per year in India and China
- Upto 4,42,000 life years could be gained through a combination of prevention programmes in India every year