The term “globesity” has recently entered the English lexicon, implying a link between obesity and global market culture (1, 17). Several academics believe that Globalization is shifting diets, influencing lifestyles, altering demographic and economic circumstances, and obstructing good health governance in ways that foster obesity (1, 17–19). Many claims that free trade policies encourage the purchase of heavily packaged fried food while still preventing countries from behaving in their citizens’ best interests (1, 20, 21). On the other hand, Globalization could increase public health concerns by putting a premium on labour productivity. As a result of trade, foreign investment, and the proliferation of neoliberal (free market) policies, is Globalization to blame for the rise of obesity worldwide? We investigate this topic using the most recent research on childhood and adolescent obesity (ages 2-19) (22).
Due to the extreme significance of the trade of goods that promote obesity, Globalization’s constraining impact on governments to protect civilization by public intervention, and the indirect effects of culture and behavioural changes that drive obesity, the global obesity crisis appears particularly important as a Globalization problem (19, 23). According to the World Health Organization, there are currently over 200 million overweight men and 300 million overweight women globally. Obesity is responsible for almost 2.8 million deaths per year, and 35.8 million Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) per day are missed due to obesity-related disease (24). Obesity has become a sustainability problem because most obese people now live in developed countries (25, 26). Obesity associated diseases are especially devastating and expensive to manage, such as diabetes and heart disease, putting extreme pressure on already over-stretched health budgets (27).
Obesity and overweightness have a substantial impact on production in terms of DALYs wasted. Indeed, diabetes and heart disease are the leading causes of death in most developing countries, and non-communicable diseases are expected to replace communicable diseases as the leading cause of death by 2020 (1, 2). Globalization, according to some researchers, has a strong connection to obesity.
Free markets promote the exchange of goods, especially food and other ingested commodities (28). People are eating more and more heavily refined foods all over the world. Traditional diets, which include more fruits and vegetables, are shifting toward higher-fat, higher-sugar meals, becoming more similar to Western, meat-based diets (29, 30). The exponential rise of fast-food chains, which sell trendy foods like pizza and hamburgers, has been blamed on Globalization for encouraging lower-quality foods (20, 31). People worldwide are allegedly shifting away from consuming fresh foods in favour of commodity foods, which are less expensive, more convenient, and have longer shelf lives (28).
Those around contend that Globalization has indirect impacts on obesity. One of the more compelling arguments is that Globalization and free-market economic conditions increase inequalities, contributing to the introduction and dissemination of unsustainable diets and lifestyles (1, 18, 31, 32). According to Kawachi and Kennedy (2002:17), the consequences of global injustice lead poor people to desire unsuitable consuming practices already adopted by the wealthy. As they write, “Poor people and poor countries make inappropriate consumption decisions and reduce savings and investment because they are misled by seeing the consumption patterns of richer peoples and nations”. These arguments also claim that high disparity causes people to become demoralized due to relative deprivation. Depressed people cope by engaging in unhealthy eating behaviours, such as binge eating, and these social consequences are blamed on increased lethargy and other bad habits, resulting in “obesogenic” conditions (32). They accuse capitalism’s “winner-take-all” capitalist values of dumping all of Western society’s “bads” on emerging countries, which are ill-equipped socially and economically to deal with these “poor externalities” of unsuitable Western lifestyles and practices (33).
The economists initiated measuring Globalization based on some components was initiated by the economists to analyze the impact on economic growth (34). Globalization was measured based on imports, exports and foreign direct investment and confirmed it as a share in GDP, and all these were economic aspects. This means that Globalization is the only economic process, and the flow of capital and goods in the country is considered an impact. Recent measures for Globalization were based on the concept of three dimensions given by (35) (1) economic: market exchanges, the flow of capital, goods and services determine the perception of Globalization (2) political: incorporation of government policies on an international basis and (3) social: sharing of ideas, images and perceptions.
(36, 37) Explained additional dimensions have been developed called the KOF index of Globalization. Annual data was collected from the year 1970-2013 to measure Globalization on these aspects. In this paper, this new measure was assessed to analyze the impact of Globalization on low and middle-income countries with an increasing disorder that is obesity (38). Consumption of calories and decreased energy consumption as a whole is considered a vigilant factor of obesity and contributes to Globalization. Energy expenditure and consumption have been acting as stimulus between obesity impacting Globalization (e.g. (39, 40)). The literature regarding this statement of the problem is quite limited. The nutritional transition has contributed to Globalization and its impact on obesity (Popkin B., 2001) (Popkin B. A., 2012).
Talking about technological change and Globalization combined with urbanization where food with great choice is offered, and increased use of cars and different mechanical aids resulting in reduced physical activity, and becoming more prone to obesity as high level of sugar intake and energy density factors in weight gain. (Te Morenga, 2013). Economic Globalization is manifested with foreign trade and investments displaying a great rise in agricultural business related foreign investments (Hawkes, 2006). These investments were invested in food production (Popkin B. A., 2012), and resulted nutritional transition as mentioned above in this literature making an economy more prone to gaining weight (Popkin B., 2006). Openness to trade leads to greater economic integration pursuing higher food market trades and nutritional transition associated with gaining weight (37). Such manifestation of economic Globalization with political factors is difficult to predict when measuring Globalization persuading the disorder of gaining weight. But the fact can be emphasized that political factors are influenced by economic trends (37). In addition to exploring the relative relevance of these various aspects of Globalization, another unique characteristic of our research is the incorporation of multiple Globalization indices into a national dataset providing individual-level data for up to 887,000 people. This helps to (a) use details on each individual’s (objectively measured) overweight status and (b) account for specific individual-level covariates, e.g., schooling, age, residence, and household size e a function that can improve analytical accuracy over only looking at country-level statistics (Vogli, 2014). It’s essential to manage for a spread of country-level factors that will simultaneously affect individual overweight risk. Country-level indicators of Globalization include GDP, Human Development Index. We aim to seek to seek out whether overall Globalization indeed increases the individual likelihood of overweight.
Public health organizations suggest that Globalization has been a great cause for obesity, hypothesizing the problem as “globesity”. The results of this paper claimed that countries with high-level of income prioritise health. This results in effective labor productivity and human capital to sustain an economy’s market even if the consumption might drive a rise. (Soysa, 2018). Globalization influences the economy of any country. Internationally, affordability and availability of processed foods and influx of food supply consisting of sweeteners and fat oils have undergone to the stage where diseases like obesity and diabetes have become a malfunction for an individual’s health. These changes showed an absurd impact on the nutrition of the food supply resulting in obesity in countries. The prevalence of such an epidemic has led to deaths in most countries, creating an environment full of baneful diseases.