An amazingly comprehensive new Lancet study, with nearly 150 authors, tracks overweight and obesity rates across 188 countries from 1980 to 2013. Some highlights:
- Worldwide, the proportion of overweight adults (BMI ≥ 25) increased from 29 to 37 percent among men and 30 to 38 percent among women.
- Over the last 33 years, no country has reduced its obesity rate.
- In 2010, “overweight and obesity were estimated to cause 3.4 million deaths.”
- National variations are huge, with the percentage overweight ranging 85 percent among adults in Tonga to 3 percent in Timor-Leste.
The study is amazing not only in its global comprehensiveness, across time, but also in its public, interactive data archive available from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
As a screen shot example, I compared the U.S. increase in the overweight percentage (upper dark line) with the global increase (lower dark line). All other countries are in light blue.