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The World Is Getting Fatter and No One Knows How to Stop It

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The World Is Getting Fatter and No One Knows How to Stop It

By John Tozzi and Jeremy Scott Diamond

April 6, 2015

Global obesity is on the rise

Bloomberg

http://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2016-global-obesity/

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Humanity is putting on weight. Across the globe, in wealthy countries and developing nations, among children and adults, an increasing number of people are overweight or obese. Today, nearly 40 percent of the worlds adults fall into one of those categories, according to new estimates by a global network of researchers called the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration.

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Economic forces are conspiring to cause the great global weight gain. Countries grow wealthier and increase consumption. People move from rural areas to cities, where they have ready access to inexpensive, processed foods. Machines do work that humans once did, decreasing the amount of energy people use. And global trade means the reach of junk food has never been greater. Up against these trends, no country has figured out how to reverse the rise of obesity.

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In 2014, there were 114 countries where more than half the adult population was considered overweight, including much of the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East, according to World Health Organization data. In small Pacific Island nations and Persian Gulf states, more than two-thirds of the population is considered overweight or obese, a higher prevalence than in the United States.

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Researchers estimate that excess weight caused 3.4 million deaths worldwide in 2010. Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Those are rising worldwide, too. There were an estimated 422 million adults with diabetes in 2014, a rate of 8.5 percent, compared to 4.7 percent in 1980, according to new estimates published by the World Health Organization April 6.

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Diabetes is rising fastest in low- and middle-income countries. Its most common in the region that includes the Middle East and North Africa, where levels of physical inactivity are high.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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