By Mark Hyman, MD • Originally published on DrHyman.com
There are now 2.1 billion people who are overweight in the world. China and India are number one and two in the world in sheer number of type 2 diabetics. In the Middle East, rates of type 2 diabetes are reaching 40 percent of the population. The World Economic Forum estimates we will spend $47 trillion over the next 20 years on lifestyle preventable chronic disease—more than the annual GDP of the six largest economies combined. This makes obesity and its related diseases among the greatest threats to economic development. America has created the worst diet in the world and is exporting it to every country on the planet. North Korea and Cuba are the only nations on the planet without Coca Cola.
Given this tsunami of obesity threatening to cripple health care systems, burden economies, and damage productivity, nations are exploring innovative strategies to reverse the tide.
Mexico is the best example of a country attempting to seek out proven practices and implement them aggressively. Soda consumption is tracked against the increasing epidemic in Mexico of obesity and type 2 diabetes. As soda hit 20 percent of calories consumed, rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes tracked perfectly. A few countries in Europe, including some in Scandinavia, have implemented taxes on sugar, soda, or junk food. But Mexico has gone much farther and much faster, implementing a broad range of synergistic policies.