The extent of the world’s obesity epidemic has been thrown into stark relief as a report from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) puts the number of overweight and obese adults in developing countries at more than 900 million.
Future Diets, an analysis of public data about what the world eats, says there are almost twice as many obese people in poor countries as in rich ones. In 2008, the figures were 904 million in developing countries, where most of the world’s people live, compared with 557 million in industrialised nations.
“The growing rates of overweight and obesity in developing countries are alarming,” said the report’s author, ODI research fellow Steve Wiggins. “On current trends, globally, we will see a huge increase in the number of people suffering certain types of cancer, diabetes, strokes and heart attacks, putting an enormous burden on public healthcare systems.”