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Global fattening

According to a new study, almost one-third of the residents on planet Earth are fat
According to a new study, almost one-third of the residents on planet Earth are fat
Robin Wulffson, MD

Global warming is a controversial topic; however, global fattening is indisputable. According to a new study, almost one-third of the residents on planet Earth are fat. Almost a third of the planet is now fat, and no nation has been able to curb obesity rates in the last three decades. The report was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and was published online on May 29 in the journal Lancet.

The report notes that worldwide in 2010, overweight and obesity were estimated to cause 3·4 million deaths, 3·9% of years of life lost, and 3·8% of disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs). The increase in obesity has resulted in extensive requests for the monitoring of changes in overweight and obesity prevalence in all populations. The report stresses that comparable, up-to-date information regarding levels and trends is essential to measure population health effects and to urge decision-makers to prioritize action. Fir the report, the authors estimated the global, regional, and national prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adults from 1980 through 2013.

The investigators systematically identified surveys, reports, and published studies (total: 1,769) that included data for height and weight, both through physical measurements and self-reports. They used a method known as mixed effects linear regression to correct for bias in self-reports. They obtained data for the prevalence of obesity and overweight by age, sex, nation, and year.

The authors found that, worldwide, the proportion of adults with a body-mass index (BMI) of 25 kg/m2 or greater increased between 1980 and 2013 from 28.8% to 36.9% in men, and from 29.8% to 38.0% in women. In addition, the prevalence has increased significantly in children and adolescents in developed nations; in 2013, 23.8% of boys and 22.6% of girls were overweight or obese. In 2013, the prevalence of overweight and obesity has also increased in children and adolescents in developing nations, from 8.1% to 12.9% in 2013 for boys and from 8·4% (8·1—8.8) to 13.4% in girls. In adults, estimated prevalence of obesity exceeded 50% in men in Tonga and in women in Kuwait, Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Libya, Qatar, Tonga, and Samoa. Since 2006, the increase in adult obesity in developed nations has slowed down.

The researchers concluded that because of the established health risks and substantial increases in prevalence, obesity has become a major global health challenge. Not only is obesity increasing but also no national success stories have been reported in the past 33 years. They recommended that urgent global action and leadership was needed to help nations to more effectively intervene.