Opinion | Chile’s ‘Radical’ Approach to Addressing Obesity

To the Editor:

Re “Waging a Sweeping War on Obesity, Chile Slays Tony the Tiger” (“Planet Fat” series, front page, Feb. 8):

Far from being criticized by a Chilean food industry association for creating confusion, Chile should be applauded for its radical approach. Obesity may not be spread by bacteria, but it is communicated in a social sense, not least through the commercial promotion of unhealthy food and by misleading language that diverts attention from the underlying toxicity of these products.

It is an uncannily similar response to the perverse yet predictable reaction from tobacco companies when advertising was curtailed. This fall, the United Nations will include a focus on tackling chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer as well as obesity among children and adults.

Chile’s example can help reverse the sad fact that not a single country has successfully brought down obesity rates in the last three decades.


The writer is chief executive of the World Obesity Federation.

To the Editor:

Kudos to the Chilean government for taking the lead in fighting obesity. This worldwide epidemic cries out for leadership to fight the food industry.

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