Ключ к устранению голода

ЮДЖИН, ШТАТ ОРЕГОН (США). Последние новости о том, что две трети взрослого населения Соединённых Штатов имеют некоторый или значительный лишний вес (и о том, что число таких людей по-прежнему растёт), возвращает к жизни вопрос, который волнует меня с 1970-х гг.: почему мы не умираем от голода?

Не так уж давно эксперты предсказывали, что стремительно растущее население Земли вскоре превысит количество запасов пищи, в результате чего возникнет массовый голод. Предполагалось, что к настоящему времени ежегодно миллионы людей должны будут умирать от голода. Данные подсчёты основывались на математике «конца света», предложенной Томасом Мальтусом: население растёт в геометрической прогрессии, в то время как производство пищевых продуктов отстаёт. С данной идеей трудно поспорить. Я вырос с идеями Мальтуса, до сих пор пропагандируемыми в таких апокалипсических книгах, как The Population Bomb ( Демографическая бомба) .

Но, по-видимому, кто-то предотвратил данный взрыв. Вместо массового голода мы фактически завалены едой. И не только США. В Мексике растёт количество тучных людей. В Индии диабет, связанный с ожирением, приобретает форму эпидемии. У каждого четвёртого жителя Китая есть избыточный вес, более 60 миллионов китайцев страдают от ожирения, а число детей с избыточным весом увеличилось с 1985 г. почти в 30 раз. Куда не взглянешь, от Буффало до Пекина, – повсюду видны большие животы.

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