UK think tank the Overseas Development Institute said one in three people worldwide was now overweight and urged governments to do more to influence diets. Also Read - Smoking in pregnancy raises infant's obesity risk: Study
In the UK, 64 percent of adults are classed as being overweight or obese, the BBC reported.
The report predicts a ‘huge increase’ in heart attacks, strokes and diabetes.
Globally, the percentage of adults who were overweight or obese – classed as having a body mass index greater than 25 – grew from 23% to 34% between 1980 and 2008.
The majority of this increase was seen in the developing world, particularly in countries where incomes were rising, such as Egypt and Mexico.
The ODI’s Future Diets report says this is due to changing diets and a shift from eating cereals and grains to the consumption of more fats, sugar, oils and animal produce.
A total of 904 million people in developing countries are now classed as overweight or above, with a BMI of more than 25, up from 250 million in 1980.
This compares to 557 million in high-income countries. Over the same period, the global population nearly doubled.
The regions of North Africa, the Middle East and Latin America saw large increases in overweight and obesity rates to a level on a par with Europe, around 58 percent.
While North America still has the highest percentage of overweight adults at 70%, regions such as Australasia and southern Latin America are now not far behind with 63%.
The greatest growth in overweight people occurred in south east Asia, where the percentage tripled from a lower starting point of 7% to 22%.
The report is published in Population Health Metrics.
The health hazards of being obese
Most of us suffer from the occasional doubt, ‘Do you think I’m fat?’ But while some don’t have to worry about it, there are some who need to start paying attention. With the rising rate of obesity the world over, we though it is time we tell you exactly what that excess bit of fat does to your body.
Causes your heart to malfunction
We all know that the heart is susceptible to blockages and arthrosclerosis. But do you know that fat has a huge role to play in the way your heart functions, the thickness of the muscles and its overall efficiency? When a person is obese, the fat present in the body, especially the fat around the belly, puts great pressure on the internal organs of a person. This fat pushes on the organs and pushes the diaphragm (a sheath that is present at the bottom on the lungs) upwards into the chest. This in turn puts pressure on the heart, literally pressing down on it.
Can make you dumber
We all value a sharp and smart person, but did you know that obesity can reduce your ability to think clearly and make good decisions? A study conducted by the Carnegie Mellon University, found that the brain of obese people works harder than people of a normal weight. It also found that the parts of the brain that were responsible for decision making and memory were hyperactive in obese people as compared to those of a person of normal weight. Moreover, because these people were more prone to inflammation and high blood pressure, it affects the communication system of the brain. This lack of communication is worse in areas that control impulsive behaviour.
Can cause swelling in the legs, severe pain
Another reason men have to worry is that excessive fat leads vascular insufficiency. It is a condition where the blood vessels are not able to carry and move blood efficiently due to the build up of plaque. It is a common reason for swelling in the legs and oedema.
Can make a man infertile
Obesity can lead to male infertility. The excessive fat alters the amount of testosterone in a man, leading to the formation of unhealthy sperm that cannot impregnate a woman, lack of libido and conditions like premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. (Read: 22 ways fat can kill you)
With inputs from ANI
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