Like an infectious disease, a troubling trend has propagated throughout the world in the global economy. As financial strain leads to health problems, citizens of the world struggle to maintain a baseline quality of life or even meet basic survival needs. It’s a crisis-level problem with far-reaching implications that will affect everybody, everywhere. Just like losing control on a “black” rated ski run, there are many fronts that are completely beyond the confidence of control in our societies.
At the root of this crisis is a slowdown in global economies, driven mainly by reckless fiscal policy. The BOJ, Bank of China, ECB, and U.S. Federal Reserve have destroyed hopes of a better tomorrow by printing and spending obscene amounts of money, with global debt reaching an all-time high of $184 trillion or $86,000 per person.
It’s beyond the comprehension of anyone person which is why most people choose to not care…
But really, that’s the equivalent of 225% of the world’s total GDP: in other words, nations are spending a heck of a lot more than they’re producing. When the debt exceeds the output by such a high margin, it’s bound to take a toll on governments’ ability to function properly and citizens’ ability to take care of themselves and each other.
It’s tough times wherever you look, with the European Union cutting its 2019 euro area GDP growth forecast from 1.9% to 1.3%, and with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank revising down global growth forecasts this year to 3.7% and 2.9%, respectively.
Europe, China, the U.S., and other major economies are all facing a massive slowdown. The U.S., whose divided political system is utterly paralyzed, cannot save the day in a time when the global economy is threatened by “tariff escalations, financial tightening, uncertainty related to (the) Brexit outcome and spillover impact, and an accelerated slowdown of the Chinese economy,” in the words of IMF Director Christine Lagarde.
Without economic stability there can be no stability in the health of the world’s population. For years the world has witnessed something horrifying: not only has the number of people with cancer increased (which might be explained by a growing population), but thepercentage of people with cancer has increased as well:
The worldwide obesity epidemic has exacerbated on the health crisis, with industrialized and modernized nations like the United States setting a poor example. Sadly, the U.S. is the most obese country on the planet, with 38.2% of Americans over the age of 15 qualifying as obese.
Other offenders in the category of epidemic-level obesity rates include Mexico (32.4% of the over-15 population being obese), the United Kingdom (26.9% obese), Canada (25.8% obese), Finland (24.8% obese), and Germany (23.6% obese), according to the OECD.
But again, America has the dubious honor of “leading” in this area. It’s stunning to consider that 78 million adults and 13 million children in the U.S. have a BMI above 30; moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that the average American adult today is 26 pounds heavier than in the 1950s.
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For all the bad that is said about milllenials are some cause for encouragement, however, as the new generation of millennials is spearheading an exciting movement away from sugar, fats, and chemicals, and towards healthier and more mindful food and drink choices. Cognizant of the health risks taken by preceding generations, millennials are reshaping consumer industries in 2019 for the better.
Millennial consumers, broadly defined as those aged 22 to 37 years, are generally more health-conscious than their parents were at the same age: they’re choosing CBD products (which are widely celebrated for their potential health benefits) over alcohol and cigarettes, and they value natural ingredients over chemical-loaded foods and beverages.
For manufacturers and distributors of food, drinks, and supplements, a shift towards more authentic and healthful product offerings is an absolute necessity. As Diageo head of innovation Michael Ward notes, millennials “are increasingly aware of what they’re putting in their bodies, and making very decided choices about ingredients,” so businesses must adjust accordingly or risk being left behind.
Mark Schneider, chief executive of Nestlé (the largest food company in the world), has certainly heeded this important trend, stating that millennials are “a group that’s fast approaching their peak earning years” and that “whatever the millennials do, you can count on their preferences getting picked up by other generations and getting emulated”; therefore, “catering to their needs is very important for any fast-moving consumer goods company.”
As investors, it’s essential to stay on top of the economic and consumer trends that shape our world and our financial decisions. It’s my job to keep you informed in an ever-changing landscape where the unfiltered truth is your first and best weapon.
Chief Editor, CrushTheStreet.com
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