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AKIPRESS.COM - According to a report from the University of Washington, worldwide rates of obesity in adults and children have increased at a startling rate over the past 33 years.
Globally, the number of overweight and obese people has risen from 857 million in 1980 to 2.1 billion in 2013.
According to the National Institutes of Health, obesity means having too much body fat. It is different from being overweight, which means weighing too much. The weight may come from muscle, bone, fat, and/or body water. Both terms mean that a person’s weight is greater than what’s considered healthy for his or her height.
The findings, which come from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 and appear in The Lancet, are the result of a comprehensive analysis of the global, regional, and national prevalence of overweight and obesity in adults aged 20 years and older and children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years between 1980 and 2013.
Yet the rates vary extensively throughout the world, with over half of the world’s 671 million obese individuals living in just ten countries: USA (over 13 percent), China and India (15 percent combined), Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, Germany, Pakistan, and Indonesia.
Over the last 33 years, the highest rises in obesity levels among women have been in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Honduras and Bahrain, and among men in New Zealand, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and USA.
In high-income countries, several of the top increases in adult obesity frequency have been in USA – where approximately one-third of the adult population is obese, Australia – where 28 percent of men and 30 percent of women are obese, and the UK – where approximately one-quarter of the adult population are obese.
The authors note that this startling rise in global rates of obesity necessitates an urgent, concerted response from global leaders.