For all Monsanto's bluster about "feeding the world," the truth is this: Globally, 3.9 billion people are either hungry or malnuourished, according to ETC Group.
Now, a new global study (billed as the most comprehensive of its kind) says poor diet, which often leads to obesity, kills one in five people.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which coordinated the study, said:
One of the most alarming risks in the GBD is excess body weight. The rate of illness related to people being too heavy is rising quickly, and the disease burden can be found in all sociodemographic levels. High body mass index (BMI) is the fourth largest contributor to the loss of healthy life, after high blood pressure, smoking, and high blood sugar.
Who's to blame for the foods that are killing us? Big Food, mostly.
The New York Times recently reported on the rise of obesity in Ghana, which not coincidentally corresponded to the rising presence in U.S. companies like Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC):
But KFC’s expansion here comes as obesity and related health have been surging. Public health officials see fried chicken, French fries and pizza as spurring and intensifying a global obesity epidemic that has hit hard in Ghana – one of 73 countries where obesity has at least doubled since 1980. Obesity rates have surged more than 650% since 1980 from less than 2% of population to 13.6 percent.
According to the Times, KFC, owned by Louisville, Ky.-owned YUM!, has about 850 outlets throughout sub-Saharan Africa: to Angola, Tanzania, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana and beyond.