The Whole World Is Getting Fatter, Study Finds

The Whole World Is Getting Fatter, Study Finds, by Maggie Fox.

Nearly a third of the world’s population is overweight or obese now, and it’s getting worse, researchers reported Monday.

The number of obese people has doubled since 1980 in 73 countries, the global team of researchers wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine. Twelve percent of adults and five percent of children are classified as obese, meaning their body mass index (BMI), a measure of height to weight, is significantly above the healthy level. …

The U.S. is at the head of the pack, with more than two-thirds of Americans overweight or obese. … And nearly 13 percent of kids are obese in the U.S., the highest percentage in the world. …

The thinnest countries? Just 1.6 of adults in Vietnam are obese and only 1.2 percent of children are obese in Bangladesh, the survey found. …

“People who shrug off weight gain do so at their own risk – risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and other life-threatening conditions,” said IHME director Dr. Christopher Murray. …

Why?

Evidence is building that it’s food and not a lack of exercise that is more to blame for the expanding waistlines.

“Changes in the food environment and food systems are probably major drivers,” the research team wrote.

“Increased availability, accessibility, and affordability of energy-dense foods, along with intense marketing of such foods, could explain excess energy intake and weight gain among different populations,” they added.

Cars, roads, public transport and other factors have been around too long to take the blame for the changes in the obesity rates, the researchers said.

The triumph of human technology over hunger.