The links between food-related trade and fiscal policies and obesity rates in low- and middle-income countries
BY KIBROM ABAY, HOSAM IBRAHIM, CLEMENS BREISINGER AND ALI ABDELHADI
Global overweight and obesity rates have almost tripled since 1975 and are expected to continue rising over the next few decades (Shekar & Popkin, 2020). This trend is alarmingly steeper in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) compared to high-income countries, where the same rates are gradually declining (Ng et al., 2014, Shekar and Popkin, 2020). Obesity and overweight are major public health problems strongly linked to high prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which are projected to have an overall cost of almost $7 trillion in the next 15 years in LMICs, placing additional fiscal burdens on already vulnerable economies (Shekar & Popkin, 2020).
Photo credit: Neil Palmer/CIAT