The group, which is being represented as a health organization but financed by Coca-Cola and other fast food and drink companies, has sought to undermine the efforts of the Chinese government to prevent obesity.
As the Chinese middle class is growing and its citizens get a taste of good living, their belts have expanded. 42 percent of the Chinese population is overweight and 11 percent obese. In the meantime, Western fast food chains have set up franchises at an incredible pace. McDonalds plans to host 4,500 restaurants in China in 2022, adding about 1,000 stores a year. KFC – the fastest-growing Chinese fast-food restaurant – already has 5,000 stores and plans to expand further.
The Chinese government noticed a bulge and announced a public health plan, "Healthy China 2030," two years ago. Among the recommendations of this plan is the information campaign at the national level to educate the population about the importance of a balanced and healthy diet.
For the scenes, the western giants of a fast diet were already hard to blame for themselves. The International Institute of Life Sciences (ILSI), established in 1978 by the former Coca-Cola Executive, organized a conference on obesity in China, where speakers stressed the importance of physical activity in the fight against obesity and underestimated the role of nutrition. week by the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
While Coke provides the bulk of ILSI assets, his other colleagues are a hawkers and fraudsters gallery. McDonalds, Nestlé and Pepsi are funded by ILSI, and the Chinese branch of the organization is closely linked to the Chinese government.
It seems that the ILSI has in fact directly affected some of the Government's anti-obesity initiatives. "Happy 10 Minutes" – a government exercise program that tried to prevent obesity by providing Chinese students with an additional 10 minutes of rest every day, was developed and partially funded by ILSI.
ILSI financiers also supported the government's "Healthy Lifestyle for All Actions" government campaign as a priority public health campaign.
More funny, conferences sponsored by ILSI, according to the BMJ report, promote the health benefits of processed foods. Danone Biscuit endorsed the 2004 symposium on the effects of dietary fats on health, while the Coca Cola representative presented the "importance of water as a nutrient", while stressing that her company's drink – containing seven teaspoons of sugar as desired – "good source of water".
Although this idea seems ridiculous, even more at the anti-obesity conference, ILSI could promote its ideas in part because of the perception of Chinese officials that Chinese medicine and food science lagged behind the West, BMJ reports on claims. As a Western organization, ILSI was automatically credible and, since the opening of China's trade in 1999, quickly became a "bridge between government, academic circles and industry".
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The organization responded to the BMJ report with the recognition: "ILSI does not claim that it was perfect in our 40-year history," he said. "It's not surprising that there were attacks on the road." The organization said it fired more of its "experts" mentioned in the BMJ article, but the Chinese government is still striving to stay on top of its growing problem of obesity.
The country now has more fat citizens than the US, although the United States still "wins" in percent play, with 39 percent of adults being obese and another 31 percent overweight. During a period of increased competition between the two countries, Chinese regulators should take stronger steps to reduce the population before becoming overweight to be able to compete in the field of sports or the battlefield.