No country is immune to obesity; 30 percent of the world affected

Photo Credit:

According to a new global analysis, a third of the world is now obese and no country is exempted from this. In fact, no country has been able to avoid the rise of obesity rates in the last three decades.

A newly-concluded research discovered that more than 2 billion people worldwide are now overweight or obese. The highest of these rates were found in the Middle East and North Africa. In these regions, almost 60 percent of men and 65 percent of women are on the heavy side.

Additionally, the United States has about 13 percent of the world’s overweight population. This is a greater percentage than any other country. The percentage from China and India combined are approximately 15 percent.

It’s an alarming set of data, according to Christopher Murray from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. He was the one who spearheaded the study.

“It’s pretty grim. We realized that not a single country has had a significant decline in obesity, that tells you how hard a challenge this is,” he said.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded this new report and was published online in the journal, Lancet.

An interesting part of the findings of their research is that Murray and his team found that there was a strong link between income and obesity. They said as people get richer, their waistlines also tend to start bulging.

According to their study, scientists have observed that accompanying spikes in diabetes and that rates of cancers linked to weight, like pancreatic cancer, are also rapidly increasing.

Recently, the World Health Organization established a high-level commission tasked with ending childhood obesity.

Dr. Margaret Chan, the World Health’s director-general, expressed her dismay bluntly during her speech at the agency’s annual meeting in Geneva. “Our children are getting fatter. Parts of the world are quite literally eating themselves to death,” she said.

Earlier this year, WHO stated that no more than 5 percent of your daily calories should come from sugar.

Meanwhile, an obesity expert from the United Arab Emirates, Syed Shah said that obesity rates have increased five times in just the last 20 years even in unexpected places such as a remote Himalayan Village in Pakistan. Shah said that the villagers no longer depend on their own farms for the food.

“Modernization has not been good for health. Years ago, people had to walk for hours if they wanted to make a phone call. Now everyone has a cellphone,” he said. He presented his research at a conference in Bulgaria earlier this week.

“There are roads for (companies) to bring in their processed foods and the people don’t have to slaughter their own animals for meat and oil,” he said. “No one knew about Coke and Pepsi 20 years ago. Now it’s everywhere.”

On the website of the World Health Organization, more than 40 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in a study they conducted in 2012. Once considered a problem of high-income countries, overweight and obesity are now on the rise in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings.

Furthermore, overweight and obesity are linked to more deaths worldwide than underweight.