A startling new study published in The Lancet medical journal shows that nearly 30 percent of the world’s population is obese or overweight. The list of the top ten most obese countries proved even more surprising.
The study found that 671 million people are considered obese, with 78 million of them in the United States. The number of obese and overweight people has increased significantly from 1980, rising from 857 million to 2.1 billion.
“Obesity is an issue affecting people of all ages and incomes, everywhere,” said co-author Christopher Murray. Murray is the Director of the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation. “In the last three decades, not one country has achieved success in reducing obesity rates, and we expect obesity to rise steadily as incomes rise in low- and middle-income countries in particular, unless urgent steps are taken to address this public health crisis.”
The number of obese and overweight children has also increased significantly, the study says, rising over 50 percent since 1980.
“The rise in obesity among children is especially troubling in so many low- and middle-income countries,” said Marie Ng, lead author of the study. “We know that there are severe downstream health effects from childhood obesity, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and many cancers. We need to be thinking now about how to turn this trend around.”
The top ten list may be surprising to some, as India came in at number three and Pakistan came in at number nine. Not quite as surprising, however, is that the United States took the top spot. Check out the full list below.
- United States