One Third of the World Population is Obese

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FILE- In this file photo dated Tuesday, June 26, 2012, two overweight women hold a conversation in New York, USA. Almost a third of the world population is now fat, and no country has been able to curb obesity rates in the last three decades, according to a new global analysis released Thursday May 29, 2014, led by Christopher Murray of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, USA, and paid for by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Researchers reviewed more than 1,700 studies covering 188 countries covering over three decades and found more than 2 billion people worldwide classified as overweight or obese. The highest rates of obesity were found in the Middle East and North Africa, with the U.S. having about 13 percent of the world’s fat population. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, FILE)
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Nearly a third of the world’s population is overweight or obese now, and it’s getting worse, researchers reported Monday. The number of obese people has doubled since 1980 in 73 countries, the global team of researchers wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine. Twelve percent of adults and five percent of children are classified as obese, meaning their body mass index (BMI), a measure of height to weight, is significantly above the healthy level.

“In 2015, a total of 107.7 million children and 603.7 million adults were obese,” the team at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, who led the study team, said in a statement. It’s killing them.

“In 2015, high BMI contributed to 4 million deaths, which represented 7.1 percent of the deaths from any cause,” the team wrote in their report.“People who shrug off weight gain do so at their own risk – Having too much body fat raises the risk of heart disease, many types of cancer, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and a range of other conditions. It makes people more likely to get seriously ill or to die from influenza and other infectious diseases. The U.S. is at the head of the pack, with more than two-thirds of Americans overweight or obese. Having too much body fat raises the risk of heart disease, many types of cancer, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and a range of other conditions. It makes people more likely to get seriously ill or to die from influenza and other infectious diseases, also.”

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