Explores how affluence and the development of new technologies has come at a huge, and potentially devastating, cost - an epidemic of obesity and a world clogged by waste.
Obesity is 'collateral damage in the battle for modernity'. It's an
unintended but unavoidable consequence of economic progress.
Obesity is not a disease but a signal. It's the canary in the coalmine,
which should alert us to bigger structural problems in society.
There are a number of areas where humans have achieved a peak of
success, a sweet spot, but now that very success is turning on us and
threatening to unravel centuries of achievement. On the one hand,
economic growth has over centuries led to a steadily improving standard
of living, better levels of health and ever increasing life spans.
On the other hand, this very affluence is the reason that both our
bodies and the planet have gone into a downward spiral, manifested by
an ever growing epidemic of obesity in humans, and in a world clogged
by greenhouse gasses and waste.
Our bodies can no longer cope with the excess of over consumption to
which we are encouraged at every turn, and the planet is labouring
under the effect of industrialisation and greenhouse gas emissions
which are surely exacerbating and possibly causing a level of climate
change which is ultimately unsustainable.
A fundamental change in thinking is needed both for how we treat our
bodies and for our approach to the planet. Each is the only one we have.
About the Authors
Professors Garry Egger and Boyd Swinburn have been at the forefront of health obesity study for over three decades and have published widely in the area. Garry Egger is the author of the best selling Gutbuster series.