A 2010 editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association warned: “If left unchecked, overweight and obesity have the potential to rival smoking as a public health problem, potentially reversing the net benefit that declining smoking rates have had on the US population over the last 50 years”. Obesity increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD), certain types of cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and orthopaedic problems. At the end of the 1970s it was estimated that 15% of US adults were obese. By 2012, this had more than doubled, to 35%. Among adolescents the increase is even more striking – from 5% at the end of the 1970s to 20% in 2012. In the UK, it is estimated that obesity nearly tripled between 1980 and 2002, from 6% amongst men and 8% amongst women to 23 percent and 25 percent women respectively. Amongst children in England, obesity has increased from 11% among boys and 12% among girls in 1995 to around 20% today.
|North American contrasts between rich and poor urban areas, less than a mile from one another|
Photo: T. Schrecker
|Corporate food systems and time poverty interact at the shopping park.|
Photo: T. Schrecker
Links: Schrecker, T. and Bambra, C. (2015) Neoliberal Epidemics: How Politics Makes Us Sick, Palgrave Macmillan, available at: http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/how-politics-makes-us-sick-ted-schrecker/?K=9781137463098
Professors Schrecker and Bambra will be discussing their new book 'How Politics Makes Us Sick' at an event at Durham University on 15 October 2015. For more details click here.
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About the authors
As well as being an Associate Director of Fuse, Clare Bambra PhD is Professor of Public Health Geography and Director of the Centre for Health and Inequalities Research, Durham University (UK). Her research focuses on the health effects of labour markets, health and welfare systems, as well as the role of public policies to reduce health inequalities. She has published extensively in the field of health inequalities including a book on Work, Worklessness and the Political Economy of Health (Oxford University Press, 2011). She contributed to the Marmot Reviews of Health Inequalities in England (2010) and Europe (2013); the US National Research Council Report on US Health in International Perspective (2013); a UK Parliamentary Labour Party Inquiry into international health systems (2013), as well as the Public Health England commissioned report on the health equity in the North of England: Due North (2014). She is a member of the British Labour Party and can be followed on Twitter @ProfBambra.