Obesity rates in the developing world have reached over 900 million, surpassing rates in the developed world, a study has revealed. As a result of this revelation, the report predicts a “huge increase” in heart attacks and diabetes.
This study was carried out by the UK-based think-tank Overseas Development Institute (ODI). The study reveals that obesity rates in developing countries are almost double that in developed countries.In 2008, over 900 million people in poorer countries were classified as being overweight, in comparison to 550 million in higher income countries. This figure has more than tripled since 1980 in underdeveloped countries, while in wealthier number the rate has grown slightly less rapidly by 1.7 times, the report states.
“The growing rates of overweight and obesity in developing countries are alarming,” said the report’s author, ODI Research Fellow Steve Wiggins. “On current trends, globally, we will see a huge increase in the number of people suffering certain types of cancer, diabetes, strokes and heart attacks, putting an enormous burden on public healthcare systems.”
The study calculates that over one-third of the world’s adult population – around 1.45 billion people – are obese or overweight and lays the blame at the feet of governments for not taking the necessary measures to combat the issue per RT.com.
The obvious rise in obesity rates in the developing world can be attributed to the recent changes in diets, the study claims. Consumers have moved from a diet based on cereals to one based on larger quantities of fats and sugars, as well as vegetables and fruit. This coupled with larger portion sizes and having a more sedentary lifestyle has progressively led to fatter populations.
“The evidence is well-established: obesity, together with excessive consumption of fat and salt, is linked to the rising global incidence of non-communicable diseases including some cancers, diabetes, heart disease and strokes,” the report says.
If governments across the world do not move to change eating habits, ODI predicts a “huge increase” in heart disease, diabetes, and strokes. Up until now, attempts made by politicians have been decidedly tentative as they were “afraid to meddle with diets and thereby alienate consumers as well as farming and food industry interests.”
A long-term push to reduce the amount of calories consumed by a population has never been attempted and therefore it is impossible to know what may come of it.