Archive for: February 2015

Health Experts Blame US Food Companies and Lax Governance For Obesity Spread

With major numbers of US children consuming more than 200 calories in a day, health experts point to a lack of government intervention and prodigious advertising and marketing by food companies for obesity.

According to the Lancet Medical Journal’s new estimates, children in the US consume 50% more calories than they did in 1970. They also weigh 11 more pounds than they did 30 years ago.

The US food industry earns £13 billion yearly from extra eating and uncontrolled habits by US citizens. Because of the large revenue, a lacking balance in favour of economic growth compromises health.

The research highlighted the problem of obesity and the food companies’ interest in targeting children with processed foods and sweetened drinks.

It also indicated that at a young age, children’s appetites are shaped by processed infant foods. It could also build taste preference, brand loyalty and high profits.

Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health Researcher Dr. Christina Roberto said “Our understanding of obesity must be completely reframed if we are to halt and reverse the global obesity epidemic.

“On one hand, we need to acknowledge that individuals bear some responsibility for their health, and on the other hand recognise that today’s food environments exploit people’s biological (eg, innate preference for sweetened foods), psychological (eg, marketing techniques), and social and economic (eg, convenience and cost) vulnerabilities, making it easier for them to eat unhealthy foods.

“It’s time to realise that this vicious cycle of supply and demand for unhealthy foods can be broken with ‘smart food policies’ by governments alongside joint efforts from industry and civil society to create healthier food systems.”


Thirty-One Estimated Dead in Taiwan Airliner Crash

According to authorities, at least 31 of the 58 passengers of a TransAsia ATR 72-600 turboprop were confirmed dead. About 12 were still missing and 15 passengers survived the ordeal.

The aircraft wobbled over Taiwan’s buildings and descended swiftly, hitting a taxi and a bridge before it landed into the water in the Keelung River.

According to the Air Traffic Control Tower, one of the pilots had sent a frantic message “Mayday, Mayday, engine flamout.” One of the Turboprop’s engines had failed. However, authorities could not find if it were because the engine had a faulty combustion or human error.

The pilot had 4,916 hours of airtime while his co-pilot had 6,992 hours of airtime.

A motorist was able to capture the TransAsia flight GE235 skidding on its wing across the roadway before it plummeted to the river. The plane had also hit a taxi, whose passengers had survived with slight injuries.

The taxi driver said that he was very scared. He is considered the luckiest man alive, along with the passenger. According to him, he fainted the moment the aircraft’s wing hit their vehicle.

Passengers had been wearing life jackets as first responders crowded the water to search for survivors.

Peter Chen, the President of TransAtlantic, bowed before passengers and crew and apologised for the disaster.