June 27, 2019

Wait Just a Minute: Jess Fanzo

Jess Fanzo, professor of food policy and ethics and editor-in-chief of Global Food Security Journal, takes a minute to answer questions on why obesity is rising across the globe and what can be done about it.

Wait Just a Minute: Jess Fanzo


What is driving rising obesity around the world?

I think one of the big drivers are diets, what people are eating. These sub-optimal diets, diets that are high in salt, sugar, unhealthy fats, processed packaged foods. And diets that are too low in fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, healthy animal source foods. So, diets now have become the major risk factor in the world and a significant contributor to obesity.

What can we do about it?

One place to tackle would be food environments, the place where citizens, consumers, go and make choices about their food: a market, a restaurant. There's lots of things we can change within those food environments. Prices of healthy foods, ensuring that people get access to those kind of markets, eliminating food deserts.

What is your favorite food?

My favorite food are steamed clams. Strange, I know,  but they're my favorite. Especially when they're dipped in hot butter.

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The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. We convene leading global voices and conduct independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

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