Skip to comments.The World May Have Too Much Food (More people are obese than underweight)
Posted on 04/02/2016 1:45:54 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o
The past 40 years have seen an unprecedented increase in the number of obese adults worldwide, climbing to about 640 million from 105 million in 1975. If the current trend continues, about one-fifth of adults will be obese by 2025.
The rate has more than doubled for women and tripled for men, according to a new analysis published in the Lancet. Under the present trajectory, the chance of meeting a goal set by the World Health Organization to halt the increase over the next decade is, according to the study, virtually zero.
Behind the global spike is greater access to cheap food as incomes have risen. Its been very easy, as countries get out of poverty, to eat a lot, and to eat a lot of unhealthy calories, said Majid Ezzati, the studys senior author and chair of global environmental health at Imperial College London. The price of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are often noticeably more than highly processed carbohydrates, he said.
A person who has a body-mass index higher than 30, or weighs at least 203 pounds and is 5-foot-9-inches tall, is considered obese. The world populations average weight has increased by about 3.3 pounds (1.5 kilograms) per decade since 1975, the researchers estimate. Excess weight raises the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.
Governments need to prepare for the jump in medical costs that accompany unhealthy weight and focus on prevention now to avoid higher costs in the future, said Bill Dietz, director of the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at George Washington University. They should be as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof about the tsunami of diabetes thats coming their way, Dietz said. The cost of this rise in the prevalence of obesity is going to be staggering.
Working under the banner of the Non-Communicable Disease Risk Factor Collaboration, Ezzati and hundreds of colleagues from around the world gathered data from surveys that measured the height and weight of 19 million adults. They then used statistical methods to estimate trends in global and national weight patterns from 1975 to 2014.
The main takeaway? Excess weight has become a far bigger global health problem than weighing too little. While low body weight is still a substantial health risk for parts of Africa and South Asia, being too heavy is a much more common hazard around the globe.
For women, this transformation took place many years ago. Obese women have outnumbered those who are underweight for more than a decade, according to the Lancet analysis. For men, being underweight was still a bigger problem until about 2011. Adults are considered underweight if their BMI is below 18.5, or weighing less than 125 pounds for someone 5 feet 9 inches. In 1975, more than twice as many people were underweight than obese.
Ezzati said the trends are related. The issue really comes down to people either not having enough to eat or not having enough healthy food to eat, he said. It becomes a manifestation of the same problem.
No government has found a way to stop rising obesity, though some are trying. Mexico, with almost two-thirds of its population overweight or obese, enacted a national tax on sugary beverages in 2014, the first large country to do so. An early evaluation suggests the peso-per-liter levy steered soda sales lower. Ezzati said the world also needs to focus on making more healthy foods competitive with cheap, processed foods. To me, how to change the price of good things is perhaps the bigger question going forward, he said.
The Lancet analysis also estimates an alarming rise of extreme cases of obesity. The global rate of severe obesity, or BMI over 35, is on pace to surpass 9 percent in women and 6 percent in men by 2025. That category now includes 39 million adults in the U.S. In 1975, it was 4 million.
Meeting the WHO target of halting the rise in obesity by 2025 will require action of monumental proportions, Boyd Swinburn, a professor of population nutrition and global health at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, said in an e-mail. The goal is likely to be impossible for adults but may be feasible for children in some countries, he said. The increase in obesity has been steeper in low- and middle-income countries compared with wealthier ones where the epidemic started early and rose more slowly, Swinburn said.
The rich world can blunt the health impacts of unhealthy weight with drugs to help control diabetes, harmful cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other health consequences. Health systems in the developing world may not be equipped to do the same. Are they prepared to deal with downstream effects as we enter this situation of severe obesity? Ezzati said.
Socialism will cure that. Always does.
Too much sugar and pasta.
I’m confused - I thought they used to tell us we were going to run out of food. World Famine was coming, now it is World Glut?
These must be the same people who told us to prepare for the Ice Age, but are now telling us we are going to burn up in Global Warming.
We don’t have too much, it is just that we have to do so little to get it. we’re not out there hunting, hoeing a garden, harvesting, canning, and preparing food.
Some don’t even have to work to earn money to eat.
No, too little self control.
Can’t have people eating, can we? Especially *those* people ... those ones who aren’t as good as us.
Wait...what about all the ads about “hungry” chilrun???
They're not hungry for dinner, they're hungry for candy.
I read a few days ago that excessive consumption of sugar when you already have enough food can cause metabolic syndrome.
I’ve only seen it in one place, so I’m not sure how well established it is.
The famines we have seen are not caused by a lack of food, they are caused by a lack of distribution of the available food.
“Wasn’t it just a few decades back all the experts were predicting mass starvation due to the explosion in population? F’n experts!”
You’d think people would look at these failed prognostications and draw some correct conclusions.
Or maybe you wouldn’t.
Perhaps the salvation of our republic should start with disenfranchising about 40% of the population.
Exactly. Excess carbs make you fat. And sick. There is really no serious dispute about this anymore.
Food is cheap and available to all but it is generally the wrong kind of foods.
My grocery bill more than doubled when I started eating healthy. But the tradeoff is worth it. I'm down 55 pounds since Nov 19th and have about another 50 pounds to go before meeting my goal.
Basically this was achieved by avoiding cheap processed foods, all fast foods, breads, pastas and foods with added sugar. I've been focusing on whole, natural foods - which are much more expensive. For example, air-chilled poultry; fresh wild-caught fish; raw nuts; olive oil, farm eggs; whole-milk yogurt; 85-90% dark chocolate; grass fed beef; grass-fed butter; real cheeses.
Not a cheap way to eat but feel incredibly healthy and energetic.
The first thing I learned about international politics years and years ago was that food was the most potent weapon a despot can use against his people.
“Some dont even have to work to earn money to eat.”
Aw! Get out of town! You can’t be serious! sarc/ lol!
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