UN to Global Health Community: Start Charging More for Unhealthy Foods



An international specialist on all things food—hunger, availability, food prices and obesity—said this morning that there was a sure-fire way to help combat the planet's unhealthy diets: harmful foods should cost a lot more.

In a statement this morning, launching the annual summit of the World Health Organization, Belgian Professor Olivier de Schutter, a United Nations special investigator, said unhealthy diets posed a greater risk to global health than tobacco.

"Just as the world came together to regulate the risks of tobacco, a bold framework convention on adequate diets must now be agreed," said de Schutter. "Governments have been focusing on increasing calories availability, but they have often been indifferent to what kind of calories are on officer, at what price, to whom they are made available, and how they are marketed."

De Schutter, who has held his investigative post since 2008, had earlier headed the Paris-based International Federation of Human Rights.