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Cheap obesity steps could have major health impact

(Reuters) Taxing junk food, limiting food adverts and making labels clearer could be the best way to curb rising obesity levels in countries like India and China, where increasing prosperity is creating ever heavier consumers.

The average annual cost of tackling obesity with these measures could be less than $1 per head, and global experts said in a study on Thursday that emerging economies should take immediate action to reverse rising obesity rates before the problem reaches levels seen in the industrialized world.

Researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) studied possible strategies to combat obesity in six emerging economies and also in England…

The study … found unhealthy diets and a lack of physical inactivity were pushing obesity rates in these seven nations rapidly toward the average of all OECD nations, where half of the population is already overweight and one in six people is obese.

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