Thursday, January 29, 2015

President Obama commits to fight obesity in India where 30.7% of children under 5 are underweight

Obama-drinkingPresident Obama must not have seen the most recent UNICEF report shows that 30.7 percent of children in India under the age of 5 are underweight. Despite the fact that undernourishment, and underweight children, is a serious problem in India., President Obama thinks fight obesity in the country is a great idea.

During a radio appearance with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Barack Obama said there is a “worldwide epidemic of obesity” and that he looks forward to working on the “issue of obesity” in India.

Question from listener: “After leaving office, do you and the first lady plan to or intend to come to India–for instance, as Bill Gates and Belinda Gates have taken up cleanliness as an issue in India–so do you think that you would work on obesity and diabetes?”

President Obama: “We very much look forward to partnering with organizations and the government and non-governmental organizations here in India around broader public health issues, including the issue of obesity.

“I’m very proud of the work that Michelle has done on this issue. We’re seeing a worldwide epidemic of obesity, in many cases starting at a very young age. Part of it has to do with the increase in processed foods not naturally prepared. Part of it is the lack of activity for too many children. And once they’re on this path, it can lead to a lifetime of health challenges.

“And so this is an issue that we’d like to work on internationally, including here in India.”

According to the United Nation’s World Food Program, India ranks as one of the hungriest countries in the world.

“An estimated 32.7 percent of the Indian population lives on less than US$ 1.25 per day.

"The country is home to a quarter of all undernourished people worldwide. Any global impact on hunger requires progress in food and nutrition security in India.

“India ranks 135th out of 187 countries in the 2014 UNDP Human Development Index and 55th out of 76 countries in the Global Hunger Index.

“While per capita income in India has more than tripled in the last two decades, the minimum dietary intake reduced during the same period," the UN World Food Program states.

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