Nearly 30% of world`s population facing obesity: Study

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: A new study has suggested that there has been a drastic rise in the number of people facing obesity worldwide.

The study found that the number of overweight and obese individuals globally increased from 857 million in 1980 to 2.1 billion in 2013.

Obesity causes an abundance of health-related difficulties, including type-2 diabetes, heart attack, high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, gout, high cholesterol, osteoarthritis, cancer and heart failure.

India comes a shocking third in the top-10 country club that has over 50 percent of the world's 671 million obese.

Looking at individual countries, the highest proportion of the world's obese people - 13 percent - lives in the US.

China and India together represent 15 percent of the world's obese population.

In a first-of-its-kind analysis of trend data from 188 countries, the study, published in The Lancet, claimed that the rise in global obesity rates over the last three decades has been substantial and widespread - presenting a major public health epidemic in both the developed and the developing world.

In developed countries, men had higher rates of overweight and obesity while women in developing countries exhibited higher rates.

Also in developed countries, the peak of obesity rates is moving to younger ages.

Between 1980 and 2013, the prevalence of overweight or obese children and adolescents increased by nearly 50 percent.

In 2013, more than 22 percent of girls and nearly 24 percent of boys living in developed countries were found to be overweight or obese.

More than 50 percent of the world's 671 million obese live in 10 countries - US, China, India, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, Germany, Pakistan, and Indonesia - the study noted.

Over the 33-year period of research, several countries in the Middle East showed the largest increase in obesity globally. These countries include Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Kuwait.

Overweight is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI), or weight-to-height ratio, greater than or equal to 25 and lower than 30, while obesity is defined as having a BMI equal to or greater than 30.

(With Agency inputs)