Obesity in third world countries is rising

By Amanda Stewart,

According to a new study, one-third of the world is now obese. In the developing world, obesity has quadrupled from 1980 to 2008.

Time reported that the number has jumped from 250 million to 904 million in those years. In that same amount of time, obesity rates in countries labeled as high-income have multiplied by 1.7.

There are now 1.46 billion people worldwide identified as obese. The amount of people overweight in developing countries compared to richer countries is overwhelming. In 2008, 904 million were identified as obese in developing countries, while richer countries stay behind at 557 million obese.

CBS News reported that the two countries with the highest rates of obesity are Mexico and China. The number of overweight citizens in these two countries have doubled since 1980. South Africa’s obesity rate has risen by one-third.

"The statistics are quite sensational, it is a tripling of the number of people who are considered overweight and obese in the developing world since 1980," said Steve Wiggins, author of the report. "That takes the number to more than 900 million and that is more than the number of overweight and obese people that we have in the high income countries, which is probably around 570 million, something like that. It is a very rapidly emerging problem and it is now of a very large size." 

The study predicts that if these rates continue to increase like they have been, people suffering from certain cancers, diabetes, strokes and heart attacks will increase significantly.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons



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