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Global Syndemic

  • A syndemic is defined as “the presence of two or more disease states that adversely interact with each other”.
  • A Lancet Report states that the pandemics of obesity, under nutrition, and climate change are interlinked.
  • It terms it as “global syndemic”.
  • They represent as the paramount challenge for humans, the environment and our planet that presses the need for urgent action.
  • Until now, undernutrition and obesity have been seen as polar opposites.
  • But the report states that they are both driven by the same unhealthy, inequitable food systems, underpinned by the same political economy that is focused on economic growth.
  • Few instances are-
  1. Climate change > extreme weather events > increased food insecurity >under nutrition
  2. Climate change > increased prices of fruit and vegetables > increasing consumption of processed foods > obesity
  3. Foetal and infant under nutrition > risk of adult obesity.
  • Not a single country has reversed the obesity epidemic across the world.
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September 2022
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