Heavy-Hitting Pitfalls to Progress

Developing countries used to fighting hunger must now shift gears to tackle obesity as their economies grow.

Growing economies—particularly in quickly-urbanizing Asia and Africa—must control the collateral damage of convenience, write Asit K. Biswas and Kris Hartley.

The trappings of urbanization, like fast food and sedentary jobs, mean “developing countries may become sick before they get rich,” which could “cripple health systems,” they write. Obesity-related diabetes and cardiovascular disease cost $10 billion a year in Southeast Asia.

Smart urban design that encourages walking, soda taxes and other measures can help control the damage as urban economies swell.

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