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WHO: Governments should regulate fast food to slow obesity epidemic

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WHO: regulate fast foodsGovernments could slow or even reverse the growing obesity epidemic if they introduce more regulation into the global market for fast foods such as burgers, chips and fizzy drinks, researchers said in a report to be released Monday.

A study published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization (WHO) suggested that if governments took firmer action, they could start to prevent people from becoming overweight and obese – conditions with serious long-term consequences such as diabetes, heart diseases and cancer.

"Unless governments take steps to regulate their economies, the invisible hand of the market will continue to promote obesity worldwide with disastrous consequences for future public health and economic productivity," said Roberto De Vogli of the University of California, Davis, who led the study.

The WHO is urging governments to do more to prevent obesity from happening in the first place, rather than risking the high human and economic costs when it does.

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