Sanjay Basu in Global Health Hub reports on a number of studies documenting the rise in obesity worldwide. Basu notes that obesity has now overtaken tobacco as the largest preventable cause of disease in several regions. Middle-aged women are especially susceptible, as this graph shows:
Global Health Hub
The question is Why?
There are many potential causes of obesity, he writes, and many theories as to what is driving us to get fatter overall — sedentary lifestyles, the “built environment’ or the sugar-carbo content of processed foods. Basu examines the arguments for and against these causes, noting that we won’t be able to halt this epidemic until we figure out what are the primary drivers.
It’s not just about telling people to eat less, apparently.
Flickr, By Tobyotter
The World Health Organization issued its 2010 annual report today, focusing on how to assure all people have access to health services. GlobalPost didn’t pay attention to that, and instead focused on WHO’s fattest nation stats.
The U.S. scores poorly, as always.
Obesity is on the rise in poor as well as rich nations and is of increasing concern as a major cause of death and disability.
Here are the top ten, from the worst to less worse, and the percentage of the population judged to be obese:
- Nauru, 95%
- Micronesia, 92%
- Cook Islands, 92%
- Tonga, 92%
- Niue, 84%
- Samoa, 83%
- Palau, 81%
- United States, 79%
- Kirabati, 77%
- Dominica, 76%
Here’s the global distribution of male obesity from WHO. The more reddish a country, the fatter its population. You can go here to WHO’s obesity site to do a search for female obesity, which has a similar distribution (I couldn’t find a map including both genders, but maybe you can):