Thirty percent of the world is equivalent to around a whopping 2.1 billion people. Obesity rates are increasing in every single country in the world. In fact, not one country has been able to reduce obesity rates in the last 33 years.
According to a new study done by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, about 30 percent of the world’s population is either obese or overweight. The study was paid for by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
However, the population isn’t going up gaining weight equally. Adult men reportedly have higher Body Mass Indexes than adult women. When measuring obesity, a Body Mass Index of over 30 indicates that a person is overweight. However, Body Mass Index levels may not indicate a weight problem, due to factors like muscle mass or levels of activity.
“It’s pretty grim,” said Christopher Murray of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, who led the study. He and colleagues reviewed more than 1,700 studies covering 188 countries from 1980 to 2013. “When we realized that not a single country has had a significant decline in obesity, that tells you how hard a challenge this is.”
The prevalence of overweight or obese children have also increased worldwide – up 50 percent since 1980. Childhood obesity is higher in less developed countries like the Middle East and North Africa, the new study claims. Girls are especially affected by childhood obesity in underdeveloped countries.
“Our children are getting fatter,” Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO’s director-general, said bluntly during a speech at the agency’s annual meeting in Geneva. “Parts of the world are quite literally eating themselves to death.” Earlier this year, WHO said that no more than 5 percent of your daily calories should come from sugar.
“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.”
While developed countries have slowed their rate of obesity a bit, many people still have weight problems. Most of the 2.1 billion overweight people reside in the developed world, and that number is only going to increase. Though the rate of obesity has slowed in many developed countries, the study suggests that it will only go up.