2.8 million people die annually from weight problems

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Anand Grover, Special Rapporteur. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

At least 2.8 million people die annually from weight problems, according to a United Nations health expert.

Challenging the world to get serious about the battle against "junk food", UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Anand Grover urged countries to adopt measures that promote the availability of healthy foods.

Presenting his final report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Mr Grover had this to say about junk food.

"There is increasing evidence that junk food containing high levels of sugar, salt, trans fat and saturated fat is to blame for the burgeoning rates of obesity and non-communicable diseases across the world. This junk has unfortunately replaced healthy food in our diets and it is becoming a greater problem for developing countries that suffer disproportionally higher rates of non-communicable diseases mortality than developed countries."  (29″)

The Special Rapporteur said that junk food is not a simple public health issue or a medical concern, but was also a human rights issue.

He added that it was necessary to regulate the marketing of sugary drinks, burgers, pizzas and potato chips – foods that, he said are "as deadly as they are tasty".

A global review of the health situation in 188 countries shows that 2.1 billion people worldwide are overweight or obese…a third of the world's population.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration:  1’30″


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