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Monday, January 28, 2013

Davos divided on tackling the scourge of obesity

Source: Reuters

The World Economic Forum has some notable past achievements in healthcare, such as galvanizing support for the fight against AIDS and the vaccination of children in poor countries, but tackling the rise in obesity promises to be a much more complicated task.

"There are huge interests involved. The question is how can we align interests? Industry sees the impact on their bottom line. They need a healthy workforce and healthy consumers," said WEF health and healthcare expert Olivier Raynaud.

The WEF estimates a cumulative $47 trillion of output might be lost in the next 20 years due to non-communicable diseases and mental health problems, with obesity to blame for 44 percent of the diabetes burden and 23 percent of heart disease costs.

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