30% of global population overweight, study finds

One-Third Of World Is Now Overweight Or Obese

Nearly 108 million children and more than 600 million adults weighed in as obese, having a body mass index (BMI) above 30, said the research that covered 195 countries.

The researchers analyzed data from 68.5 million people between 1980 and 2015 to explore trends as well as figures regarding overweight and obesity rates, reports CNN.

"Excess body weight is one of the most challenging public health problems of our time, affecting almost one in every three people", said Ashkan Afshin, from University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, according to PTI.

The percentages of obese children are lower than the adults but according to findings, that rate is increasing and is especially evident in countries like China, India and Indonesia.

"Nearly 70% of the deaths that were related to high BMI were due to cardiovascular disease, and more than 60% occurred among obese persons".

In 2015, excess weight affected 2.2 billion people equal to 30 percent of the world's population, according to the study.

According to the study, nearly 4% of the four million dying due to their higher body mass index were not yet obese. These were from a range of conditions including heart or kidney disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Among the 20 most populous countries, the highest level of obesity among children and young adults was in the U.S., at almost 13 percent.

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The report also revealed that many countries have a greater number of obese child population than the elderly.

The lowest rates of adult obesity were in Bangladesh and Vietnam, both at one percent. He said, "obesity poses a unsafe threat to public health in Egypt".

Being overweight is defined as having a body mass index between 25 and 29.9. Together, that's about 10 percent of the world's population.

It was published online Monday by the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at a food science and policy meeting in Stockholm. China came in second with 57 million obese adults - even though China has more than four times as many people as the U.S.

People who have higher than normal BMI are in serious health risk.

Number of deaths from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and other ailments linked to excess weight.

The authors also note that the prevalence of obesity has increased across varying levels of development in recent decades, demonstrating that the issue of high BMI and obesity is not just affecting wealthier nations.

Urbanization and other changes in the "built environment" (how we have designed and structured our homes and communities) may have reduced opportunities for physical activity, but that factor has played a lesser role in the obesity epidemic, the researchers add. "People who are overweight are at high risk of mortality and other diseases [beyond obesity itself]".

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