Last night I watched a French-made documentary on SBS called It's a Fat Fat World. I thought I might have seen it all before, but this was a very new perspective - obesity in the developing world. The culprit? For the main part, globalisation, the spread of hypermarkets and fast food (McDonalds and KFC know no national boundaries) and reliance on motorised transport.
In Egypt, apparently 60 percent of adult women are obese! Essentially because of inactivity, because they are confined to the domestic sphere. These women are like walking manifestations of boredom and oppression.
In Mexico, what had been a healthy traditional diet has been adulterated so that now people eat multiple tortillas deep fried in lard, without beans or vegetables. I think they said that one out of every two adults is overweight if not obese in that country.
The dimensions of the problem are quite overwhelming. It was horrible to watch people eating themselves sick, served up a diet of what amounts to poison masquerading as modern luxury. Of course, that's all around us here too. In fact, we went to a child's birthday party today and, feeling sensitised to the issue after watching this program, I couldn't help but see the sheer amounts of food as totally over the top.
[And now I'm off to cook dinner!]