World-Wide obesity is spreading.
In the last 20 years, male and female obesity nearly doubled. For example, in 1980, 4.8 percent of men and 7.9 percent of women were obese. In 2008, 9.8 percent of men and 13.8 percent of women in the world were obese. Both groups nearly doubled since 1980.
According to senior author of the study, Professor Majid Ezzati, "Our results show that overweight and obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are no longer Western problems or problems of wealthy nations. Their presence has shifted towards low and middle income countries, making them global problems."
"The findings are an opportunity to implement policies that lead to healthier diets, especially lower salt intake, at all levels of economic development, as well as looking at how we improve detection and control through the primary health care system,” Ezzati said in a press release. “Policies and targets for cardiovascular risk factors should get special attention at the High-level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on Non-Communicable Diseases in September 2011."
The Global Burden of Metabolic Risk Factors of Chronic Diseases Collaborating Group conducted the three studies. The studies of global health trends were recently published in The Lancet. The studies also suggest average blood pressure and cholesterol levels have decreased in wealthy Western countries.
The authors of the studies compared and calculated data of adults 25 years and older from published and unpublished health examination surveys and epidemiological studies across 199 countries and territories.
The study estimated that more than half a billion adults are obese internationally. In 2008, the BMI results indicated that more than one in 10 of the world’s adults were obese. Also, women are more likely to be obese than men.
The systolic blood pressure (SBP) study observed a slight decrease in the percentage of the world’s population with uncontrolled hypertension. High-income countries achieved reductions in uncontrolled hypertension with men in North America faring the best.