Globalisation and Obesity

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Date Submitted: 08/28/2011 10:16 AM

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How globalisation contribute to an increase of obesity all over the world

Obesity has become an important worldwide problem in both developed and developing countries. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) (2008) , the number of overweighted male and female around the world has considerably increased to more than 500 million in 2008, comparing to 300 million in 2000 (WHO 2008). One of the most significant drivers of this epidemic is globalization, which refers to “the spread of free-market capitalism to virtually every corner in the world” (Friedman 1999:9). The main purpose of this essay is to demonstrate that globalisation increases rate of obesity around the world by support high-energy food industry global marketing and distribution, and propose solutions to the problem.

To begin with, Globalization facilitates worldwide marketing penetration of high-calorie fast food industry. It allows marketing advertisement or campaign to access every place in the world through various kinds of media such as, TV, radio, newspaper and Internet. A study conducted by Putnam & Allshouse (1999) shown that commercials are very influential in increasing the consumption of products. According to Putnam & Allshouse (1999), watching TV advertising can change patterns and trends of consumption in the USA over the past 50 years, for example, In 1945, Americans drank more than four times more milk than carbonated soft drinks; 50 years later, they were consuming nearly two and a half times more carbonated beverages than milk. (Putnam & Allshouse 1999). Under globalization, a company is handed with an even more powerful weapon. By producing only one advertisement, a company could successfully raises attention of people around the world. Moreover, various types of media such as films, music, and books, indirectly yet effectively, promote the spread of western fast food eating habit to the rest of the world. For example, seeing a TV character eating hamburger,...