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Obesity in the Developing World

January 4, 2014

Noted food activist Raj Patel has previously described the paradox of the coexistence of obesity and hunger in the world today, but a new study by the UK-based think tank Overseas Development Institute provides data highlighting the growing challenge of obesity in the developing world. The report observes that over the past thirty years, the number of obese or overweight people in the developing world has increased from 250 million to 904 million. Today, there are more overweight or obese people in the developing world (904 million) than there are in the developed world (557 million), and that rates of obesity and overweightedness in North Africa and the Middle East (58%) and Latin America (57%) are on par with those of Europe (58%) though still far below those of the North America (70%). The report notes that the growth in body mass index (BMI) in the developing world has been driven largely by the same changes in diet and increasingly sedentary lifestyles that have driven change in the developed world.



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