TIME health

A Third of the World is Now Obese or Overweight

No country on earth has reduced obesity rates in more than three decades

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Almost 30 percent of the earth’s population is obese or overweight, a new study reports, estimating that this affects about 2.1 billion people.

Obesity rates have increased in countries all over the world, but it’s not an evenly distributed health problem, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation reported on Wednesday.

In the developed world, adult men have higher rates of obesity (defined as having a Body Mass Index of 30 or more) than adult women. In the developing world, the opposite is true.

The prevalence of overweight and obese children and adolescents worldwide has increased by nearly 50 percent since 1980, the study says, and no country on Earth has successfully reduced obesity rates in the last 33 years.

Childhood obesity rates are notably higher in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly among girls.

Though the rate of increase in obesity has slowed in the developed world, in the developing world, home to two-thirds of the world’s obese people, obesity rates are projected to continue their climb.

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