Washington: Researchers have said that the spread of obesity and type-2 diabetes could become epidemic in low-income countries, as more individuals are able to own higher priced items such as TVs, computers and cars.
Simon Fraser University health sciences professor Scott Lear headed an international research team that analyzed data on more than 150,000 adults from 17 countries, ranging from high and middle income to low-income nations.
Researchers, who questioned participants about ownership as well as physical activity and diet, found a 400 per cent increase in obesity and a 250 per cent increase in diabetes among owners of these items in low-income countries.
The study also showed that owning all three devices was associated with a 31 per cent decrease in physical activity, 21 per cent increase in sitting and a 9 cm increase in waist size compared with those who owned no devices.
The results can lead to "potentially devastating societal health care consequences" in these countries, Lear adds. Rates of increase of obesity and diabetes are expected to rise as low- and middle-income countries develop and become more industrialized.
The findings have been published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal .
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