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Like cigarettes, organizations want food to be regulated in the fight against obesity

Can you imagine buying a soft drink and, just like a cigarette packet, seeing a picture on the back of it of how you might look if you consume too much sugar? It may seem unusual, but this and other claims are part of a campaign against obesity. Organized by two international institutions, Consumers International (responsible for consumer protection campaigns) and the World Obesity Federation, the mobilization aims to alert consumers in the food and beverage industry to the risks that consuming too much salt, sugar and fat can bring to the body.

This week, the two organizations launched a global call for governments to start regulating the food sector, just as they have already done with the cigarette industry. This mobilization, according to the organizers, is essential at a time when obesity poses major health risks, going beyond the harms of tobacco itself.

Both Consumers International and the World Obesity Federation state that global deaths due to obesity and overweight increased from 2.6 million in 2005 to 3.4 million in 2010. According to 2008 data from the World Health Organization (WHO), 11% of the population over the age of 20 is already obese and another 35% is over the ideal weight. Here in Brazil, according to Ministry of Health indicators, more than half of Brazilians (50.8%) are overweight, in addition to the 17% considered obese. In addition, the disease is among the three most common causes of death on the planet, competing with tobacco and alcohol.

Among the other demands are a reduction in the levels of salt, sugar and saturated fat in food, as well as the provision of balanced meals in schools. In addition, the fight against trans fats - present in processed foods and drinks - is active and the organizations recommend that it be abolished from products within the next five years. The control of food-related advertising and the promotion of healthy habits by the government are also on the agenda.

Here in Brazil, Conanda (the National Council for the Rights of Children and Adolescents) issued a resolution in April of this year in which it considers abusive all advertising aimed at children that has "the intention of persuading them to consume any product or service" and that uses aspects such as cartoons, dolls, children's language, soundtracks with children's themes, offers of prizes, gifts or collectibles that appeal to children.
Source: UOL

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