News / Health

Study: Obesity, Overweight Rates Climbing Worldwide

Obesity is a growing problem worldwide.
Obesity is a growing problem worldwide.
Jessica Berman
A new study published in a British medical journal says obesity rates for both adults and children are climbing worldwide, with the greatest gain in weight in developing countries.

According to the report, the number of people carrying extra kilos climbed from 857 million globally in 1980 to more than two billion last year. Researchers report 62 percent of the world’s obese individuals live in developing countries.

The findings come from an analysis of data gathered from 188 countries published in the British medical journal The Lancet.

Investigators discovered the rates of overweight and obesity climbed 28 percent over the past 33 years with the biggest increase in children. Forty-seven percent of all youngsters and adolescents worldwide are now considered overweight or obese.  

In developed countries, men have higher rates of obesity than women, although there's evidence that the pace of weight gain in the United States and other Western nations has begun to slow over the past eight years.

“Nowadays, food is prepared for us. Remember, in the past, it used to take some time to cook a dish," said Ali Mokdad, who teaches health metrics and evaluation at the University of Washington and co-authored the study.

"Now a seven- or 10-year-old child could pop something in a microwave. It’s safe and readily available," he said.

The authors found some of the highest rates of obesity in China, India, Russia, Egypt, Pakistan and Indonesia. Places with the highest percentage of overweight people include the island nation of Tonga, where 50 percent of the population has a weight problem, along with Libya, Qatar, Micronesia and Samoa, where more than 50 percent of women carry excess weight.

The health care costs of obesity, particularly to developing countries, are enormous, according to Mokdad.

“It has a toll on our disability, our diseases. And with an aging population living longer, no country in the world can afford to spend all its money on treatment. We should find a balance between treatment and prevention,” he said.

Without targeted interventions, obesity control programs and the sustained efforts of national governments, experts say it is unlikely countries will meet the United Nations' goal of halting the rise in obesity rates by 2025.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ridi James from: L.A.
May 28, 2014 10:46 PM
Plot the rise in obesity with the rise in high fructose corn syrup consumption worldwide.

Mystery solved.

Now, be a health conscious consumer and buy something like V-8 Splash instead of soda pop...oh, darn. High fructose corn syrup is the number one ingredient in that oh so healthy beverage.

Can't really blame the manufacturers. The stuff is cheaper and easier to handle than sugar, and profits ALWAYS trump health. Besides, all those additional diabetics are a big cash cow to the health care industrial complex, also a big profit center for billionaire stockholders everywhere.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid