Just The Facts

10 Facts: The Developing World’s Obesity Problem

The developing world’s obesity rate is gradually catching up with developed nations.

Credit: Eksley - www.flickr.com

Takeaways


  • The developing world is now home to the greatest number of the world’s obese population.
  • India is home to the world’s third-largest obese population.
  • Obesity rates in the developed world have stabilized, unlike in developing nations.
  • By far the largest number of the developing world’s obese live in China -- at 62 million.

1. Obesity rates are generally lower in developing countries than in rich nations.

2. The developing world is now home to a greater absolute number of the world’s obese population than developed economies.

3. As of 2013, 62% of the world’s obese lived in developing countries.

Public Health: World’s Obesity Problem

The World’s Heavyweight Nations

The Developing World’s Obesity Problem

Obesity in the United States

The Increasing Global Obesity Rate

4. The developed world’s dramatic increase in obesity rates that began in the 1980s have now stabilized, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s data..

5. Obesity rates in the developing world continue to rise.

6. By far the largest number of the developing world’s obese live in China — at 62 million.

7. China has the second-largest obese population in the world (trailing only the United States).

8. India has the world’s third-largest obese population, in absolute terms, at 41 million.

9. The factors most often associated with obesity — high caloric intake, changes in the composition of diet and physical inactivity — are increasingly found in developing nations, with predictable results.

10. If China’s and India’s obesity rate were to rise to the U.S. level (27.5%), the two countries would have 725 million obese people — more than current global total of obese people.

Sources: The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation with additional analysis by The Globalist Research Center.

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