miércoles, 29 de noviembre de 2017

The OECD is getting fatter… |MercatorNet|November 29, 2017|MercatorNet|

The OECD is getting fatter…

|MercatorNet|November 29, 2017|MercatorNet|

The OECD is getting fatter…

and fatter.
Marcus Roberts | Nov 28 2017 | comment 1 

The world’s population is still increasing, albeit at a slower rate than ever before. There are still hundreds of millions of people in dire poverty who have very little to eat. But the numbers of the desperately malnourished are receding both in absolute terms and as a proportion of the population. As we have blogged about before, humanity has made incredible strides in the last few decades in expanding our ability to feed everyone on the planet. Indeed, the problem of hunger nowadays throughout the world is very much a political, rather than an agricultural or production one.
And, as it turns out, for the wealthier 35 countries of the OECD, it is rates of obesity that is increasing. Combined with a sedentary lifestyle, it is a surfeit of (often trashy) food that is leading to exponential rises in obesity levels. According to the latest 2017 reports by OECD countriesobesity is affecting people of either sex, all ages, all ethnicities and also all education and income levels. Across the OECD as a whole, 54 per cent of the population is overweight (according to body mass index measures) and 19 per cent is obese. (Overweight means a BMI of over 25kg/m2and obese means over 30kg/m2.)
When it comes to the individual countries in the OECD, the least overweight/obese countries are Japan, Korea and Italy, while the most overweight/obese are Mexico, Hungary, the USA and New Zealand (hurrah! New Zealand got a mention!) Interestingly, there is no discernible difference between men and women – 19 per cent of men and 20 per cent of women are obese.
When it comes to the rate of increase, Italy and Japan have stable obesity rates at the moment. However, the obesity rates have grown extremely quickly in other countries over the last twenty years or so. The United Kingdom’s obesity rate has climbed 92 per cent since the 1990s, the USA has gone up by 65 per cent, while Korea’s and Norway’s obesity rate has doubled during that time.
Perhaps more alarmingly is the rise of large numbers of overweight and obese children. Not only does childhood obesity put children at risk of future ailments, but it also affects mental and physical growth, hormonal balance, psycho-social health, heart and lung health etc. Among the OECD countries, the average rate of overweight and obese children is 25 percent. The report notes that the major causes of childhood obesity are an unhealthy diet and a lack of physical activity – you know, the obvious causes.


November 29, 2017

Australian businessman Paul Ramsay died in 2014 leaving his A$3 billion fortune to establish a philanthropic foundation. A good chunk of that is being invested in The Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation, a program for revitalising the study of the humanities in Australia.

This has been met in some quarters of academia with a familiar form of cultural cringe. "The concept of 'western civilisation' is past its use-date in university humanities departments," lectured a heading in The Conversation -- a project for popularising academic research. "The problem with this view of peoples and cultures as civilisations is that it is hierarchical, with some civilisations viewed as superior to others," the author opined.

Fortunately not all academics think like that. Michael Cook spoke with Dr Stephen McInerney, Executive Officer (Academic) at the Ramsay Centre, who can't wait to see a new flowering of the Western heritage in Australian universities. If you have any love for the great literary and other works that shaped "the West" you will really enjoy the interview.

Carolyn Moynihan
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