33% of world’s population now overweight with American children leading the way, study finds

More than 2 billion people around the world — about a third of the planet’s population — are overweight, and another 10 percent are considered obese.

That’s according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine by researchers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

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The team of researchers examined data from 68.5 million people in 195 countries and territories from 1980 through 2015 and found that since 1980, obesity rates in 70 countries have doubled.

Being overweight is defined as having a body mass index between 25 and 29.9. Obese individuals have a BMI above 30.

The study also found that in 2015 there were 107 million obese children and 603 million obese adults worldwide. That same year, 4 million people died from obesity-related health problems, according to scientists, who also determined two-thirds of the deaths were related to heart disease.

The largest contributors to weight-related deaths between 1980 and 2015 were heart disease, diabetes, kidney diseases, cancers and musculoskeletal disorders.

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But the most “worrisome” finding, researchers said, was that the rate of childhood obesity surpassed the adult obesity rate in many places around the world since 1980.

Overweight children are at higher risk for the early onset of diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease.

The United States had the highest rate of childhood obesity in the world at nearly 13 percent. Egypt topped the list for obese adults at approximately 35 percent.

Read more here.

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