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Lawmakers, Private Sector Should Work Together To Stem Chronic Disease Risks From Fast Food

New York Times: Letter to the Editor: Fast Food in Ghana
Susan Levin, director of nutrition education at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

“…[C]ountries need regulations to intervene against Big Food. … It’s natural for companies like KFC to think of profits as they sell packaged foods and fried chicken, but we know how this story unfolds. … Moderation rarely works in the face of fried chicken, milkshakes, french fries, and soda, especially if these products are viewed as luxury commodities and infiltrated into mainstream food culture. I tell patients to avoid them. We need thoughtful lawmakers in countries like Ghana to do the same” (10/10).

Fortune: KFC Needs to Take Responsibility for Africa’s Obesity Crisis
Sania Nishtar, former co-chair of the WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity

“…Year after year, new data reconfirms the growing scale of the obesity crisis in every country of the world, and yet political action has been muted. It is easy to blame the private sector for this, but should the public health community be exonerated? … Fixing the obesity epidemic means harnessing the strength of all stakeholders to address the problem. … This means the government must work with the private sector to encourage more locally sourced, healthy, and nutritious products. … [A] new independent agency should be established to help make markets in low- and middle-income countries more encouraging for healthy foods and medical treatments. … Ghana is a bellwether for the health problems all low- and middle-income countries have to tackle. Oct. 11 marks World Obesity Day, an opportune time to reflect on the stark choice the world must make: reform quickly or prepare for a public health crisis that decimates already fragile health systems” (10/11).

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