There are a greater number of obese people in the United States than in any other country in the world, according to a new report in medical journal The Lancet.
The scale of the 188-country study is unprecedented, and it paints a grim picture. Not one country has succeeded in cutting its obesity rate during the 33 years studied. Rates are rising among men, women and children, no longer a malady of rich nations alone.
“We are seeing an increase in obesity across the board,” said Dr. Marie Ng, the paper’s lead author. “Two-thirds of the obese population actually lives in developing countries.”
From 1980 to 2013, overweight and obesity rates soared 28 percent in adults and 47 percent in children.
More than half of the world’s obese people live in just 10 countries. And even though the U.S. accounts for just five percent of the world’s population, Americans make up 13 percent of the global obese population.
Researchers defined “overweight” as having a body-mass index (BMI) over 25, while “obese” referred to a BMI over 30. To put these numbers in context, an estimated 160 million Americans are either obese or overweight today.