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The global population is growing … fatter

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:

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.


About Author

Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at] or follow him on Twitter @tompaulson.