Obesity and overweight balloon to 2.1 billion

Increasing prevalence in children and adolescents in developed countries also alarming

Obesity and overweight incidence worldwide skyrocketed to 2.1 billion in 2013 from 857 million in 1980, according to a survey published in The Lancet based on The Global Burden of Disease Study 2013, which encompasses from 1980 to 2013.

Furthermore, the prevalence of obesity and overweight rose by 28 percent in adults and 47 percent in children.

“Because of the established health risks and substantial increases in prevalence, obesity has become a major global health challenge,” wrote the authors. “Not only is obesity increasing, but no national success stories have been reported in the past 33 years.”

The authors systematically identified surveys, reports, and published studies that over all collected a sample size of 1,769 participants. The data collected included height and weight, both through physical measurements and self-reports. They used mixed effects linear regression to correct for bias in self-reports.

They also collected data for prevalence of obesity and overweight by age, sex, country, and year from 19,244 participants.

The researchers found that the proportion of adults with body-mass index of 25 kg/m2 or greater increased between 1980 and 2013 from 28.8 percent to 26.9 percent in men and from 29.8 percent to 38 percent in women.

Meanwhile, obesity and overweight substantially increased prevalence in children and adolescents in developed countries at 22.6 percent of girls and 23.8 percent of boys. In developing countries, the prevalence increased in children and adolescents from 8.1 percent to 12.9 percent for boys and from 8.4 percent to 13.4 percent for girls. With Lancet report fitafterfifty.com

VitalSigns Issue 64 Vol. 3, June 1-30, 2014