A large team of researchers analysed 1,769 studies, surveys, and reports about obesity around the world, and their conclusion, published in The Lancet, is grim: In 33 years, not a single country has reduced its obesity rate.
This depressing graphic, compiled using the visualisation tool from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, shows obesity climbing not just in the U.S., but in surprising corners of the globe (warmer colours = higher rates of obesity):
Globally, obesity rates rose in men from 28.8% in 1980 to 36.9% in 2013. In women, during the same time period, rates rose from 29.8% to to 38.0%. The steepest gains were in Middle Eastern countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
In some countries, more people are obese than not. The majority of men are obese in Tonga, and the majority of women are obese in Kuwait, Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Libya, Qatar, Tonga, and Samoa.
The study’s global take should serve to broaden the conversation about obesity, which is frequently focused on the growing public health issue in the United States. “Although 13 per cent of the world’s obese people live in the United States, the world’s richest country,” noted Donald G. McNeil, Jr., in The New York Times, “62 per cent live in poor or middle-income countries.”
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