Obesity and Hunger: What Went Wrong
Nowadays, obesity is a big problem for those who live in the northern part of the globe. Thousands of them have died because of this “modern” disease. In stark contrast, the southern half of the world is starving to death. This ironic gap can be traced back to the poor distribution of the world resources as the result of the still-remaining colonization of the capitalist countries.
According to The World Heart Federation, there is a great possibility that obesity will replace the position of smoking cigarette as the main cause of heart attack. A research found that 1 out of 4 British people suffer from obesity and 30,000 people die every year caused by obesity-related diseases. In USA, 2 out of 3 people are obese and about 400,000 died in 2000 mainly because of poor diet and lack of sport.
Not only does obesity attack the adults, but it also targets children as its victims. Still according to The World Heart Federation that 22 million under-5-year-old children are overweighed. Almost 1 out of 3 US children aged between 5 to15 are found obese. In England, 8.5% of 6-year-old and 15% of 15-year-old children were categorized obese in 2000.
Paradoxically, in the same world, 800 million people suffer from hunger. Every week about 168.000 people starve to death. In addition, 11 children shockingly die every single minute caused by malnutrition.
Ethiopia has a high level of chronic food insecurity and is vulnerable to acute food insecurity. Somalia is ranked as one of the most food insecure countries in the world. More than 17 percent of its people are malnourished. Kenya is a low-income, food-deficit country with an Aggregate Household Food Security Index of 71.7 (FAO) ranking it 51st out of 61 countries. Poverty and vulnerability assessments indicate that 43 percent of the population live in absolute poverty. In Indonesia, over 37 million people live below the poverty line, consuming less than two thirds of the recommended calorie intake. In Afghanistan, 3.8 million people in rural settled areas were unable to meet 100% of their minimum daily food requirements.
This gap is not a surprise actually if we look at the poor distribution of world’s resources. As mentioned before, while the northern part of the world (i.e. western countries) has a rich abundance of resources, the southern part is deep in the folds of poverty. To illustrate, The United States is just inhabited by 4% of the total world population. However, 35% of the world’s resources is here in this very country.
It is maybe acceptable if only the Western countries got and enjoyed their own resources. The fact is that they collect their wealth from what the so-called developing countries (meaning poor countries), in which the hunger and poverty have so far killed so many people. They send their multinational corporations to many other countries, especially in Asia and Africa, to take the resources. In Indonesia we have here Freeport, Exxon Mobil, Newmont, Shell, Inco, Newcrest, and many others.
The developing countries are not merely poor in nature. Some of them are even rich countries. Oil, natural gas, gold, and many other natural resources are God’s blessings mostly located in these countries. However, it is not they themselves who take benefit from the resources. It is the Western capitalist countries that “legally” plunder their wealth through the widely-rooted multinational corporations. Sometimes, they even send their troops to do it, like what is now taking place in Afghanistan and Iraq. Indeed, the colonization has not been over. This leads to the poor distribution of world’s resources.
To sum up, the ironic gap between the obesity problem in the western countries and hunger problem in the southern part of the globe is caused by the poor distribution of the world resources due to the still-remaining colonization of the capitalist countries. To overcome the gap, we need a fundamental change in our life system. We need an alternative for the greedy capitalism.
NOTE: bukan niat kemenyek pake bhs inggris, ini cuma tulisan untuk memenuhi tugas mata kuliah writing beberapa tahun yg lalu. harap maklum juga, sumber-sumber datanya tidak saya sebutkan. habis, males nyari lagi.