Posts Tagged ‘World Health Organization’

Global Obesity Targets Will Not be Achieved

October 10th, 2015

The World Obesity Federation [formerly the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF)] has published new data on global obesity prevalence prediction through 2025. The data indicate that the global targets, set by the World Health Organization to hold obesity rates to the 2010 level will not be met. See article from The Guardian.

 

The Global Obesity Picture

June 24th, 2012

So here is the global obesity picture. The World Health Organization slides for age standardized  BMI a women and men over 20. WHO estimates that 1 billion people are obese worldwide, increasing to 1.5 billion by 2015. It is no longer a problem in the developed world but is increasing in low and middle income countries. Only some areas which have no reporting, or have geographical or political conflicts appear not to be seeing an increase in obesity.

For men

For women

 

This graph is data from the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ) and depicts the obesity picture in the developed world. The different bars report data from 1990 to 2009, all are increasing. It is a little hard to see but all of the countries which have measured data have higher rates than self-reported data. South Korea and Japan on the far left are probably inaccurate as obesity in their societies should probably be calculated from a BMI of 25 or 27, not a BMI of 30.

Is obesity leveling off? Possibly yes in children  in Australia, China, England, France, Netherlands,New Zealand, Sweden Switzerland and USA, Olds T, et al, Evidence that the prevalence of childhood overweight in plateauing: data from nine countries Int J Pediatr Obes 2011 Oct;6(5) (5-6):342-60.  PubMed: Evidence prevalence childhood obesity plateauing

An historical note here. A great many analyses assume that our obesity problem began in the post-war period or at least from the 1970s. That is not quite correct. As this poorly copied graph shows, the increase in BMI can be traced back to the 1870s. This is from The Changing Body by a number of economists, including one Nobel Prize winner, Robert Fogel, Roderick Floud, Bernard Harris and Sok Chul Hong.

Another paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research shows a similar timeline.

What are the projections?

The OECD projections for the selected developed nations to 2020.

The point is: all lines rise to the right: increased levels of adiposity throughout the population.

Is obesity leveling off? Possibly yes in children  in Australia, China, England, France, Netherlands,New Zealand, Sweden Switzerland and USA, Olds T, et al, Evidence that the prevalence of childhood overweight in plateauing: data from nine countries Int J Pediatr Obes 2011 Oct;6(5) (5-6):342-60.  PubMed: Evidence prevalence childhood obesity plateauing.

Finucane et al found that between 1980 and 2008, mean BMI worldwide increased by 0·4 kg/m(2) per decade for men and 0·5 kg/m(2) per decade for women. National BMI change for women ranged from non-significant decreases in 19 countries to increases of more than 2·0 kg/m(2) per decade  in nine countries in Oceania. Male BMI increased in all but eight countries, by more than 2 kg/m(2) per decade in Nauru and Cook Islands. Male and female BMIs in 2008 were highest in some Oceania countries, reaching 33·9 kg/m(2) (32·8-35·0) for men and 35·0 kg/m(2) (33·6-36·3) for women in Nauru. Female BMI was lowest in Bangladesh (20·5 kg/m(2), 19·8-21·3) and male BMI in Democratic Republic of the Congo 19·9 kg/m(2) (18·2-21·5), with BMI less than 21·5 kg/m(2) for both sexes in a few countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and east, south, and southeast Asia. The USA had the highest BMI of high-income countries. In 2008, an estimated 1·46 billion adults (1·41-1·51 billion) worldwide had BMI of 25 kg/m(2) or greater, of these 205 million men (193-217 million) and 297 million women (280-315 million) were obese. Lancet: Finucane_global_bmi increases


 

Obesity adding to Preterm Births

May 3rd, 2012

What does the US have in common with Kenya, Turkey, Thailand, East Timor and Honduras?  Answer: high rates – around 12% –  of preterm births, according to a new study from the World Health Organization. Most European countries and Canada have rates around 7% to9%. The report notes, “Underlying maternal conditions (e.g. renal, disease, hypertension, obesity and diabetes) increase the risk of maternal complications (e.g., pre-eclampsia) and medically-indicated preterm birth. The worldwide epidemic of obesity and diabetes is, thus, likely to become an increasingly important contributor to global preterm birth. In one region in the United Kingdom, 17% of all babies born to diabetic mother were preterm, more than double the rate in the general population.

WHO: Born Too Soon, Global Action Report on Preterm Birth