The latest data that reminds us of how bad our diets are becoming says that obese adults now outnumber underweight adults globally. According to Mashable, researchers from Imperial College London teamed up with the World Health Organization and 700 researchers from across the globe to analyze the body-mass index (BMI) values of adults from 1975 to 2014. All together, the researchers looked at more than 1,700 studies comprising data from nearly 19.2 million men and woman across 186 countries.
The results of the research, which is the largest obesity study ever conducted, were recently published in the journal Lancet. The numbers are a bit shocking: As of 2014, there are an estimated 266 million obese men in the world, and 375 million obese women. It used to be that “underweight prevalence was more than double that of obesity.”
More than 1 in 10 men and 1 in 7 women across the globe are now obese, according to world’s biggest obesity study https://t.co/eDJdDrYWbZ
— Imperial College (@imperialcollege) April 1, 2016
Unsurprisingly, the U.S., UK, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, and Ireland are the nations with the most “dramatic upticks in obesity levels during the past 40 years.” The study says that being underweight is still a big issue in the South Asia, and Central and East Africa, which are some of the world’s poorest regions.
While BMI is defined by the NHS, the UK’s National Health Service, as a “measure that adults can use to see if they are a healthy weight for their height,” it is known to be flawed. BMI takes into account only a person’s weight and height, not his body-fat percentages compared to muscle and bone density.
Still, there is not doubt that obesity is a real health issue around the world. A recent study showed that nearly three-fourths of all Americans are now overweight or obese. Scotland is facing a unique issue where many obese people cannot fit through furnace doors for cremation after their deaths and must be buried instead.