Obese adults now half a billion worldwide

Friday, February 4, 2011

LONDON - As the prevalence of obesity has nearly doubled since 1980, the worldwide bloated adult population is now half a billion strong.

A study shows that in 2008, more than one in 10 adults was obese. The figure included 205 million men and 297 million women.

It looked at global data to assess how body mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol changed between 1980 and 2008, the journal Lancet reports.

“Our results show that overweight and obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are no longer Western problems or of wealthy nations,” said Majid Ezzati, senior study author at the Imperial College London.

“Their presence has shifted towards low and middle income countries, making them global problems,” he said, according to an Imperial College statement.

The proportion of the world’s population with high blood pressure, or uncontrolled hypertension, fell modestly between 1980 and 2008.

However, because of population growth and ageing, the number of people with uncontrolled hypertension rose from 600 million in 1980 to nearly one billion in 2008.

High income countries achieved large reductions in uncontrolled hypertension, with the most impressive progress seen in women in Australia and men in North America.

Average levels of total blood cholesterol fell in North America, Australia and Europe but increased in east and Southeast Asia and the Pacific region.

Filed under: Blood Pressure, Medicine, Obesity, World

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