The Entire Globe has a Weight Problem and the USA is Leading the Way

The USA leads the world in obesity, but it's far from the only country with a weight problem. (Photo: Mark Lennihan, AP)
The USA leads the world in obesity, but it’s far from the only country with a weight problem. (Photo: Mark Lennihan, AP)

By sheer numbers, the USA handily leads the world in obesity, with 87 million of the world’s 671 million obese people — 13% of the total for a country with 5% of the population, a new report says.

But we are hardly alone in our battle with bulges: Obesity is a growing problem worldwide and, by proportion, is even worse in some other countries, says the study to be published Thursday in the medical journal Lancet. Rates are rising among men, women and children, in rich countries and in poor countries, the report says.

“It’s going up everywhere,” says study co-author Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington-Seattle.

The new 188-country study is the most comprehensive look at obesity worldwide over the past several decades, and it paints a discouraging picture, Murray says: “The most concerning thing is that there’s not a single country that has seen a decline in obesity in the past thirty years. … We hoped there would be some examples of success that you could latch onto. But there’s a complete lack of success stories in bringing down obesity.”

Obesity is more common in developed countries than in poorer nations, but it is rising in both, the report says. Throughout the world – including in the USA – obesity co-exists with pockets of hunger, Murray says.

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SOURCE: Kim Painter
USA TODAY

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