Unhealthy diets greater threat to health than tobacco, says expert

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Olivier De Schutter. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Unhealthy diets are now a greater threat to global health than tobacco, according to the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food.

Speaking in Geneva on Monday, Olivier De Schutter called for a new global agreement to regulate unhealthy diets.

He said the international community continues to pay insufficient attention to the worsening epidemic of obesity.

Mr De Schutter explained that just as the world came together to regulate the risks of tobacco, a "bold" convention on adequate diets now needs to be agreed upon.

In 2012, the food expert highlighted five priorities to address obesity and unhealthy diets, which included taxing unhealthy products and regulating foods high in saturated fats, salts and sugar.

Mr De Schutter said that although Governments have been focusing on increasing calorie availability, they have often been indifferent to what kinds of calories are offered and to whom they are made available.

He said obesity continues to advance, and the warning signs are not being heard.

Sophie Outhwaite, United Nations.

Duration: 1’06″

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