People in many developing nations, such as Liberia and Georgia, are gaining weight at a rapid pace, faster since 2000 than they did from 1975 to 2000 (among pink icons). And although the rate of weight gain in many developed countries since 2000 is slower than it was prior (among orange icons), it has kept going up. When taken together, the two trends mean that “for much of the world, we are passing from an era of obesity into a new era of severe obesity,” says Majid Ezzati, lead scientist on a far-reaching study of 200 countries published recently in the Lancet. Researchers “are surprised by the extent of severe obesity,” he says (bar chart). If the trajectory continues, Ezzati says, it will be virtually impossible to meet the World Health Organization's global goals of halting the rises in obesity and diabetes by 2025.
This article was originally published with the title "Fatter Still" in Scientific American 315, 2, 80 (August 2016)
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN ONLINE
FOR MORE ON LINKS BETWEEN OBESITY AND HEALTH RISKS, GO TO SCIENTIFICAMERICAN.COM/AUG2016/GRAPHIC-SCIENCE