Over the last 40 years, a silent epidemic has slowly been making millions of people very sick. Obesity is a major global health problem; it is estimated that by 2030, half the world will be obese or overweight.
The film “Globesity” takes a deep dive into this healthcare disaster, examining the causes and devastating effects of this man-made tragedy. It looks at why almost every country has failed to stop it and questions if our long-held beliefs about obesity are accurate.
It also highlights how obesity or being overweight is a social issue and how the global food corporations are complicit in this epidemic.
The global obesity epidemic has caused a rapid rise in the so-called “lifestyle diseases” such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. They are now the leading cause of death in many countries. There are also record numbers of children, over 250 million worldwide and counting, suffering from these diseases that traditionally only affected adults.
Being overweight places an enormous toll on our bodies and lowers both the quality of life and life expectancy rates. So what happened to cause this epidemic, and why has no country managed to solve this problem?
When someone is obese or overweight, the default way of thinking is to blame and shame them for their food choices, their “laziness” to work out or “lack of self-control.” But science proves that simply going to the gym and working out won’t help you lose weight on its own. Burning the same amount of calories we eat is unrealistic when it would take one hour of hard running to burn off a hamburger and over two hours for a pizza slice.
Interestingly, almost all studies that equate the lack of physical activity as the primary driver of obesity were either spearheaded or funded by big food corporations. The problem lies deeper, specifically in what we are eating.
In the 1970s, public health policies changed, with the powerful sugar lobby convincing lawmakers to advise that to stay healthy, a lower intake of fat – and a higher number of starch and grains was the solution. The food industry began to market thousands of “reduced-fat” ultra-processed foods with higher amounts of sugar.
However, diets heavy with starchy and sweet processed foods keep insulin levels high, causing fat cells to hold on to the calories which deprive the rest of the body. It then causes hunger and the need to eat more. Sadly, it is corporate greed that keeps these unhealthy food items on supermarket shelves. It is more profitable to sell them vs high fiber, healthy and wholesome, unprocessed food.
It’s going to take a lot of work and political will to stop Big Food Corporations from continuing to dictate what we should eat. Their continued flooding of the market with unhealthy food options has pushed wholesome and natural foods out, so they are no longer able to compete for a share of your dinner plate. But it needs to be done soon before it’s too late.
Directed by: Sylvie Gilman, Thierry de Lestrade