Pakistan ranked ninth most obese country as new study shows 30 pc of world is now fat




Almost a third of the world is now fat, and no country has been able to curb obesity rates in the last three decades, according to a new global analysis.

The Global Burden of Disease  Study published in The Lancet medical journal has placed Pakistan as the ninth most obese country in the world.

A staggering 671 million people now fall within the obese category, said  the study — 78 million of them in the United States, which accounts for five  percent of the world’s population, but more than a tenth of its grossly  overweight people.

China and India, with much larger populations, trailed 2nd and 3rd in the  top 10 obese countries with 46 million and 30 million people respectively,  followed by Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, Germany, Pakistan and Indonesia.

Traditionally associated with an affluent lifestyle, the problem is  expanding worldwide, with more than 62 percent of overweight people now in  developing nations,  says the There are some 2.1 billion overweight or obese people in the world today —  up from 857 million 33 years earlier.

Among the most striking statistics: more than half the population of Tonga  is now classified as obese — a dangerous level of overweight — as are more  than 50 percent of women in Kuwait, Libya, Qatar and Samoa.

“Obesity is an issue affecting people of all ages and incomes, everywhere,”  said Christopher Murray, director of the University of Washington Institute for  Health Metrics and Evaluation, who helped collate the data for the period 1980  to 2013.

“In the last three decades, not one country has achieved success in  reducing obesity rates, and we expect obesity to rise steadily as incomes rise  in low- and middle-income countries in particular, unless urgent steps are  taken to address this public health crisis.”

One is considered overweight with a weight-to-height (BMI) ratio of 25 or  over, and obese from 30 upward.

Overweight people are more prone to cardiovascular disease, cancer,  diabetes, osteoarthritis and kidney disease, and the soaring numbers are  placing a heavy burden on health care systems, said the study.

Excess body weight is estimated to have caused 3.4 million deaths in 2010, and previous research has warned that an unabated rise in obesity could start eating away at life expectancy.

The study, based on data from 188 countries, said the prevalence of obese and overweight adults grew by 28 percent worldwide, and by nearly 50 percent for children.

For men, the increase was from 29 to 37 percent, and for women from 30 to  38 percent of the population.

The study authors expressed concern that nearly a quarter of kids in  developed countries and 13 percent in developing ones were overweight or obese  — up from 16 percent and eight percent in 1980.

Thirteen percent of American children are obese, almost 30 percent if you  include overweight — up from 19 percent in 1980.

“Particularly high rates of child and adolescent obesity were seen in  Middle Eastern and North African countries, notably among girls,” the study  authors noted.

Women are heavier in developing countries and men in developed ones,  the study further adds.

The World Health Organisation aims to halt the rise in obesity by 2025, a  target the study authors said appeared “very ambitious and unlikely to be  attained without concerted action and further research”.

One solution, said Klim McPherson from Oxford University, was to return to  the BMI levels of 1980 — which would mean an eight percent drop in consumption  across the UK alone, at a cost to the food industry of some 8.7 billion pounds  (11 billion euros) per year.

“The solution has to be mainly political,” he wrote in a comment on the  study.

“Where is the international will to act decisively in a way that might  restrict economic growth in a competitive world, for the public’s health?  Nowhere yet.”