Diabetes, eating disorders and overweight and obesity in the world
In countries of the global South, patients with diabetes who need insulin face such high treatment costs that they have to save on meals or ration their doses of medication. In low- and middle-income countries, by contrast, it is estimated that one in two people who need insulin does not have sufficient access to it. Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi own 83% of medicine sales. Although insulin is essential for the survival of people with type 1 diabetes, the global monopoly on it is not covered by any international regulations.
In the UK, as the need for support to deal with eating disorders increases – hospital admissions, for this reason, have risen by 84% in the last five years – more and more pseudo-specialists are filling the gaps in National Health Service (NHS) care. Often these are “eating disorder coaches” who lack the necessary qualifications, training and expertise, and the market in which they operate is unregulated.
By 2035, 51% of the world’s population aged 5 years and over (more than 4 billion people) will be overweight or obese. In 2020, 2.6 billion people will be affected. According to the World Obesity Federation, the fastest increase in obesity is expected to be among children and adolescents aged 5 to 19 years. If prevention, treatment and support do not improve, the economic impact of overweight and obesity will reach more than $4 trillion per year by 2035.