In the United States, obesity is an epidemic. Although the rates of overweight and obese have remained relatively stable since 2000, rates of extreme obesity have increased by 76.5%. Such trends are also evident in other countries, especially in the developing world. According to the latest statistics from WHO, the prevalence of overweight and obese among women and men more than doubled from three to eleven percent in 1993 to 2009. In contrast, the percentage of obese and overweight men has nearly quadrupled in both low- and middle-income countries.
In countries where obesity is widespread, interventions are needed to improve health and reduce obesity rates. This problem is global in scope, with populations growing at exponential rates in the past decades. The global prevalence of overweight and obese has risen from 4% in 1975 to 18% in 2016, with both genders experiencing an increase in prevalence. This rise is affecting both developed and developing countries. In the United States alone, approximately 200 million adults were obese and eighty-five million under-five years old were obese. In China and India, however, the prevalence of overweight and obesity has doubled since 1990.
In developing countries, the rate of overweight and obese adults has increased by 45%. The rate of overweight and obesity is much higher among lower socioeconomic levels than it was in higher-income groups in the 1970s. In Brazil, national surveys conducted ten years later found that the prevalence of obesity was three times greater in low-income households. This double burden of disease in developing countries has resulted in households with both overweight and undernourished children.
In low-income countries, the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children has tripled since 2000. In Asia, obesity was highest among lower-income families, and in sub-Saharan Africa, the rate was 24% higher. In 2016, there were over 340 million overweight children and adolescents aged five to 19 in these countries. It is important to combat the double burden of overweight and obese in these countries.
As of 2015, obesity has become an epidemic in developing countries. Its prevalence has increased by 30 percent in developing countries. In low-income countries, the rate has doubled in ten years. While this epidemic is still a public health issue, it is also a significant economic burden. The rising prevalence of obesity has increased the risk of death. People are more likely to die from heart diseases and certain types of cancer than to have an underweight child.
While the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children in developed countries has remained stable, the incidence of overweight and obesity has increased in both men and women. The rate of obese children in developing countries is higher than that of underweight children in developed nations. The prevalence of overweight and obese children is also increasing in developing countries. The number of overweight and obese adults in developing countries is rising in both sexes. In the US, a quarter of all adults is overweight or obese, while one-quarter of the population is undernourished.
Overweight and obese children in developing countries are increasingly common. While the early years of globalization were marked by the rise of overweight and obese children in the United States and in China, this trend has changed dramatically in the past decade. Today, most households have both an overweight adult and an underweight child. This is a “dual burden of disease” and it is a major global health issue.
The rapid upsurge in obesity in developing countries was initially more prevalent in the higher socioeconomic strata. But in the last decade, the prevalence of overweight and obese adults has shifted from this demographic to the lower. In developing countries, the proportion of overweight and obese children and adults is becoming more common in households. This is known as the “dual burden of disease.” The emergence of the obesity crisis in these countries has resulted in the growth of overweight and obese populations across the world.