Obesity Crisis: Food for thought - The Agenda with Stephen Cole

At this time of year, millions of people across the world resolve that it's time to lose some weight – so in this episode of The Agenda with Stephen Cole, we look at the growing problem of obesity.

The number of obese people in the world has tripled in the last 50 years – costing health services across the globe trillions of dollars. 

A solution to the obesity crisis has never been needed more, with recent research showing that the obese are twice as likely as those of a healthy weight to be hospitalized with Covid, 78 percent more likely to end up in intensive care and 50 percent more likely to die from the virus.

So, we're asking why the world is becoming fatter, and what can be done to stem the tide of our ever-expanding waistlines.

In this edition of The Agenda, Stephen Cole speaks to Barry Popkin - Professor of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina – the man behind the first study conclusively linking obesity with increased mortality rates from COVID-19. He tells us why exactly the world is getting larger – and how the problem has now expanded from the higher to lower income countries.

To find out why people become obese, and to look more closely at our increasingly difficult relationship with food and exercise, Stephen also speaks to Jane Ogden, Professor of Health Psychology at the University of Surrey, who explains the complexity of obesity – coming as it does as a result of biological, social, environmental and psychological factors.

And – to get a feel for what it's like to live with obesity, and how to fight back against it, we hear from Morag Dunbar – who at her heaviest weighed 178 kilos, but who used lockdown as an impetus to lose 50 kilos.



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