Health Care

One-Third Of World Now Overweight, With US Leading The Way

One-Third Of World Now Overweight, With US Leading The Way

But with obesity levels rising, there is a pressing need for better nutrition and other efforts to prevent unhealthy weight gain, said one of the authors, said Dr. Ashkan Afshin, the study's lead author.

Danaei believes that while the epidemic may have plateaued in terms of growth among certain adult populations, such as the United States population, the greater rate of change among children means there will be a future cohort of people who have been exposed to a high BMI for a longer period of time, which researchers will not have faced before.

The global obesity problem now affects 1 in 10 people in the world, it is rising in countries rich and poor, and in many countries it is increasing faster in children than adults, according to a new study.

"People who shrug off weight gain do so at their own risk - risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes cancer, and other life-threatening conditions", said study co-author Dr. Christopher Murray.

It was published online Monday by the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at a food science and policy meeting in Stockholm.

Being overweight is defined as having a body mass index between 25 and 29.9.

-Globally, about 4 million deaths were attributed to being overweight or obese in 2014, from causes like heart disease and diabetes.

"Excess body weight is one of the most challenging public health problems of our time, affecting almost one in every three people", said Ashkan Afshin, from University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

Research released Monday, June 12, 2017 found the obesity epidemic is getting worse in most parts of the world, according to data between 1980 and 2015.

Data were obtained from the most recent Global Burden of Disease study, which explores all major diseases, conditions and injuries globally by age, sex and population.

The study revealed that the number of people living with obesity has doubled over the last three decades in more than 70 countries.

Obesity and inactivity could someday account for more cancer deaths than smoking if current trends continue.

Among the 20 most-populous countries, the highest level of obesity among children and young adults was in the US, at almost 13 percent. "In general, the prevalence of obesity among both women and men increased with the increase in the SDI [socio-demographic index which is based on average income per person, educational attainment, and total fertility rate (TFR)] across all age groups", researchers said.

China and India had the highest number of obese children - respectively 15.3 and 14.4 million. Egypt topped the list for obese adults at approximately 35 percent.

Obesity levels have risen in all countries, irrespective of their income level, meaning the issue is not simply down to wealth, the authors say in the paper.

Researchers said they will work closely with the United Nations' Food and Agriculture organization to help improve public health and control the global consequences of obesity.

BMI is calculated by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by their height in metres squared, and is an indication of whether a person is a healthy weight.


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