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Vested interest, lack of leadership leading to The Global Syndemic: Lancet

Prof Shifalika Goenka
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Prof Shifalika Goenka

Rohit Shishodia
A Lancet report has revealed that powerful opposition by commercial vested interests, lack of political leadership and insufficient societal demand are preventing action on The Global Syndemic with rising rates of obesity and greenhouse gas emissions and stagnating rates of undernutrition.

The report states that these three are major drivers of the pandemics of obesity and undernutrition. Obesity, undernutrition and greenhouse gas emissions are the greatest threat to human and planetary health, affecting most people in every nation and region.

The report states that there is a need of a social movement for change and radical rethink of the relationship between civil society, business, governance and policy makers.

The report has recommended a global agreement to limit the political influence of big food, redirection of $5 trillion in government subsidies away from harmful products and towards sustainable alternatives and advocacy from civil society to break decades of policy inertia.

Dr Shifalika Goenka, Commissioner on Lancet Obesity Commission and Professor, Public Health Foundation of India, said that there is need for change in India’s laws pertaining to public transport, support structure for active living and physical activity in daily living.

The changes are also required in green spaces, use of land, design of cities, agriculture, food and economic and commercial policies to stop further damage.

Dr Goenka lauded Ayushman Bharat but said that there is a need to move ahead that includes introduction in the Indian constitution of Right to Health and Right to Well Being.


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