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Obesity Problems Rise With 1/3 Of World Population Overweight

First Posted: Jun 13, 2017 06:44 AM EDT
Special School Helps Teen Combat Childhood Obesity
Seventeen year-old Marissa Hamilton (R) walks with friends during a morning walk at Wellspring Academy.
(Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Over 2 billion adults and children in the world are now said to suffer from health problems due to being overweight or obese, a new study showed. This roughly put the numbers to a third of the global population carrying excess weight.

The United States alone has the greatest percentage of overweight children and young adults, at 13 percent. Egypt, on the other hand, led the numbers in terms of adult obesity at almost 35 percent. Out of the 2.2 billion people noted to be obese or overweight in 2015, over 710 million were classified as obese, according to CNN.

This is especially concerning, considering that an increasing number of individuals are dying around the globe due to health problems linked to being overweight. Among such problems include cardiovascular diseases, as highlighted by a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, expressed the dangers of shrugging off weight gain.

"People who shrug off weight gain do so at their own risk -- risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and other life-threatening conditions," he said. He also said that half-serious New Year's resolutions regarding weight loss should be a year-round commitment, in order for people to prevent future weight gain.

According to The New York Times, some 1,800 data sets from around the world found that excess weight played a role in about 4 million deaths in 2015 alone. Besides cardiovascular diseases, it was also a cause of diabetes, kidney disease and others. However, people did not become obese overnight.

Dr. Ashkan Afshin, lead author of the study, noted that the change in physical activity in individuals also preceded the global weight increase. He noted that the "food environment" seemingly became the main driver of obesity, taking into account the sheer amount of processed food, energy-dense food and intense marketing of food products accessible to everyone nowadays.

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