ROME—According to a report released Monday by the United Nations, U.S. consumers waste roughly 50 million tons of sugar-saturated food each year, a quantity sufficient to give over one billion residents of the developing world Type 2 diabetes. “Citizens in more affluent nations such as the United States do not fully appreciate what the uneaten tons of cookies, candy, ice cream, and pastries they discard could mean to the pancreatic function of the world’s impoverished peoples,” said Food and Agriculture Organization Director General José Graziano da Silva, who noted that the amount of duck sauce packets thrown away annually in the New York metropolitan area could provide more than 600,000 sub-Saharan Africans with severe cases of gout. “And when you factor in the volume of sugary sodas and fruit drinks they throw from their car windows, you begin to see how many of the world’s poor could be stricken with hyperglycemia if only Americans managed their food supply better.” Da Silva added that while American junk food distributors had made great strides in recent years, the dependence of emerging nations on fruits, vegetables, and grains meant they were only beginning to close the global obesity gap.

Advertisement