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Obesity and overweight breaks scales in all countries: 30% of world population

Sunday, June 1st 2014 - 13:54 UTC
Full article 38 comments
“In the land of gastronomy, fast food has become the king,” lamented French magazine Le Point. “In the land of gastronomy, fast food has become the king,” lamented French magazine Le Point.
US has the biggest slice of the planet's obese population - 13% – yet it has less than 5% of the world’s total population US has the biggest slice of the planet's obese population - 13% – yet it has less than 5% of the world’s total population

Almost 30% of the world’s population, 2.1 billion people, is considered obese or overweight, researchers said, while rates among children have increased by a whopping 47% in the last 33 years.

 Researchers, concluding the most comprehensive study to date on the global epidemic of obesity, found that the number of people suffering from excessive weight broke the scale, ballooning from 857 million in 1980 to 2.1 billion in 2013. In the same period, rates of global obesity and excessive weight surged 28% in adults and 47% in children.

The researchers consulted statistics that spanned 188 nations over the last 33 years.

Putting to rest the notion that obesity is predominantly a western phenomenon, nations in the Middle East and North Africa, Central America and the Pacific and Caribbean islands have hit “staggeringly high” obesity rates, according to the study by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, reported in the Lancet medical journal.

Among females, researchers showed the biggest obesity increase occurred in Egypt, Honduras, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Oman. Among males, the top gainers included New Zealand, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

The problem was most severe in the Middle East and North Africa, with more than 58% of adult men and 65% of adult women overweight or obese.

“Two-thirds of the obese population actually resides in developing countries,” said Marie Ng, a global health professor who was one of the contributors to the study. age from www.thelancet.com

More than half of the world's obese are from just 10 countries: the United States, China, India, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, Germany, Pakistan and Indonesia.

Perhaps it is no surprise that the United States, whose eating habits and fast food chains have revolutionized the way much of the world now consumes, represented the biggest slice of the planet's obese population - 13% – yet it has less than 5% of the world’s total population, which now tops 7 billion.

A person is considered obese if their body mass index (BMI) is 30 or more, while overweight is BMI of over 25.

The researchers said obesity - once the problem of rich, developed nations - now confronts people across the board regardless of income or other social indicators.

Men witnessed higher rates in developed countries, while women suffered most in developing countries. Perhaps the most worrying piece of information from the report, however, is the discovery that “not one country” succeeded in trimming the fat.

“No countries had significant decreases in obesity in the past 33 years,” the authors revealed. “This raises the question as to whether many or most countries are on a trajectory to reach the high rates of obesity seen in countries such as Tonga or Kuwait.”

However, even for nations that did not rank among the biggest food offenders, the study treated them to a generous slab of humble pie. In Australia, for example, obesity rates are climbing faster than anywhere else in the world, with almost a quarter of the country's children and 63% of the adult population overweight.

A separate study released in March, meanwhile, examined trends in the French food industry, discovering that since 2004 the fast food share of the restaurant market skyrocketed by 74%. In 2012, sales at fast food chains in France totaled €34 billion (46 billion dollars), outperforming the nation’s traditional sit-down restaurants for the first time.

“This growth [of the fast food market] is far superior to that of the whole of the traditional restaurant sector,” Bernard Boutboul director of the consultancy firm Gira Conseil, which carried out the report into French eating habits, told The Local, a French English-language newspaper.

“In the land of gastronomy, fast food has become the king,” lamented French magazine Le Point.

The United Kingdom posted higher levels of obesity and overweight people than anywhere in Western Europe, aside from Iceland and Malta, the study showed.

In the UK, 67% of men and 57% of women are either overweight or obese, according to the Global Burden of Disease study. More than a quarter of UK children – 26% of boys and 29% of girls - are also overweight or obese.

Top Comments

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  • Briton

    Back to bread and dripping then..lol

    Jun 01st, 2014 - 08:19 pm 0
  • toooldtodieyoung

    1 Briton

    Nah!! Bully beef and cabbage soup.

    Jun 01st, 2014 - 08:23 pm 0
  • Marcos Alejandro

    Nice picture of our own MercoP “yankeeboy” in action.

    Jun 01st, 2014 - 09:07 pm 0
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