Obesity: Re-Shaping The Food Industry

Arnaud Langlois, Pablo E. Zuanic, John Faucher, Celine Pannuti & John Shannon

Research Organisation

Report Date
Jan. 24, 2006

Document summary

Obesity (BMI >30) is a risk factor for many serious illnesses including heart disease, hypertension, stroke, type-2-diabetes, respiratory disease, arthritis and certain types of cancer. The rising prevalence of obesity across the world particularly among young people, has alarmed health experts, the media and the population at large, and is a major public health concern.

Apart from the human suffering it causes, the economic consequences of the increasing incidence of obesity are of particular importance. It is estimated that in the European Union, obesity accounts for up to 7% of health care costs, and this amount will further increase given the rising obesity trends.

With the vast majority of experts highlighting the multi-causal nature of obesity (food consumption, physical activity, environment, education, genetics) the role of the food industry is at the heart of the debate.

Growing awareness of the relationship between diet and health and in particular of serious health risks posed by obesity is having a major impact on consumer purchasing behaviours and choices that will durably impact and reshape the food and beverages industry.

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