Nearly a Third of the World is Obese

A new study indicates that a third of the world’s population is obese. Since Americans make up about four and a half percent of the world’s population, I’m pretty sure we’re not responsible for all of this:

The obesity epidemic is global: 2.1 billion people, or about 29% of the world’s population, were either overweight or obese in 2013, and nearly two out of three of the obese live in developing countries, according to a study released Thursday.


The prevalence of overweight and obese people rose by 27.5% for adults and 47.1% for children between 1980 and 2013, according to the study, led by researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington and published Thursday in the journal the Lancet. In 1980, 857 million people were overweight or obese.

Nearly two out of three obese people are in developing countries? I am not really understanding this. For years, everyone has been bemoaning world hunger, and how there is an overpopulation problem, and how our resources grow arithmetically though our population grows geometrically, etc. This study indicates otherwise.

For one, apparently the third world isn’t as starving as we once thought. They actually could cut back a little.

Second, we can be pretty sure our resources are keeping up with at least current population growth.

And then there is this angle. What if obesity isn’t as much about the amount of food you are eating as it is the quality of that food? Processed and Franken-foods have become ever more prevalent all over the world, and in many cases, because of their convenience and price, they have actually replaced some of the healthier staples in traditional cuisine. Could this be the real reason for obesity in developing countries? It’s hard to say. But it wouldn’t hurt to return to minimally processed food just to be safe.