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Globesity: tackling the world’s obesity pandemic

Globesity: tackling the world’s obesity pandemic

The year was 1959 and a junior copywriter in a London advertising agency was asked to tweak a client’s new slogan. And so was born “A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play”.1

That pithy slogan echoed the chocolatier’s previous tagline: “Mars feeds you goodness three good ways,” which in turn echoed advertisements from the 1940s that promised “chocolate to sustain, glucose to energise, milk to nourish”. Indeed, generations were led to believe that Mars bars not only tasted good but were good for you.

How times have changed

In early 2016, Mars — now one of the world’s largest food producers – announced that it would begin to distinguish between its “everyday” products and those “occasional” products that have high salt, sugar and fat content. Through new labelling, Mars promised to recommend how often occasional products should be consumed, based on “how long it takes the body to restore balance after eating these meals”.2

Following the announcement, Fiona Dawson, Mars Food’s global president for food, drinks and multisales, pledged a new era of openness. “The real confusion in the food industry has come from hidden fats, salts and sugars, where people are really surprised or didn’t realise,” she said.3 The company’s announcement was a step in the right direction.

But many more steps are needed — and not only by Mars Food.

We at Aetna International believe there is sufficient evidence to show that immediate, coordinated action on a global scale is needed. Our challenge as a global society is to band together to apply what we know in a vast international effort to end the globesity pandemic.

You can download the whitepaper here. 

About the authors

Dr Sneh Khemka, MBChB, MRCOphth, (Hon) MFPH, is the President of International Population Health Solutions at Aetna International. He holds an honorary membership of the Faculty of Public Health, and is a surgeon by background. He is also a central figure in international health care improvement. 

Sneh heads Aetna International’s efforts to help governments and large organisations manage the health of their populations better, primarily through infrastructure development (major Information Technology systems), clinical data analytics, health and disease management, and ultimately primary care. 

Dr George, MBBS, DPH, MBA, is the Head of Care Management (Americas) and is responsible for the delivery of all of our care management programs through her team’s global clinical operations. She is responsible for driving the care management strategy. She has oversight on the clinical program design which is focused on developing member-centric innovative programs focused on increasing member engagement and improving health outcomes.

As Senior Medical Director for Aetna International, Dr. Lori Stetz, MHP, provides guidance, support, and medical leadership for all care management activities around the globe. Lori drives medical policy, and actively participates in strategic planning and program and product development in concurrence with changing markets and technologies.Lori also manages Aetna International’s emergency evacuation program, helping to ensure appropriate health care delivery for our members around the globe.

As Medical Director for Aetna International, Dr. Patel, MBA, provides guidance, support, and medical leadership for care management activities in Europe. Dr. Patel also manages Aetna International’s emergency evacuation program, helping to ensure appropriate health care delivery for our members around the globe. Dr. Patel graduated from King’s College University, London and also has a Healthcare Management degree from Imperial College, London. He is also a practicing physician in Emergency Medicine. 

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