More than a third of our planet inhabitants, including 37% of men and 38% of women, are overweight. These shocking figures are contained in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.
Between 1980 and 1990, the number of overweight adults on the planet (whose body mass index exceeds 25 kg/1 sq. meter of growth) increased from 28.8% to 36.9% for men and from 29.8% to 38% in women. Such data can be obtained from the WHO report.
A person, whose body mass index exceeds 30, is regarded as a victim of obesity. The study showed that the number of people with overweight and obesity is increasing all over the world very quickly because of the growing popularity of high-calorie processed foods. The authors of the study analyzed the link between the growing demand for food and obesity in 69 countries including 24 developed, 27 developing, and 18 poor countries.
In 56 countries, the demand for high-calorie processed foods and the increase in the body weight of their inhabitants was found to have increased significantly in the period from 1971 to 2010. In 45 countries, the availability of harmful high-calorie foods clearly explained the increase in the body weight of their residents. The data obtained from this study are important because they provide ample evidence needed for the authorities in different countries to introduce tough measures to combat obesity.
First of all, this concerns stricter food market regulation and labeling of unhealthy high-calorie foods – just like cigarettes are now labelled. Obesity, coupled with the sedentary lifestyle, is known to be the risk factor in many illnesses, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers.