Obesity rates rise in developed countries

February 24, 2012

According to Reuters, more people in developed countries are overweight or obese than ever before, a report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found.

The Paris, France-based OECD found obesity rates vary widely from a low of 4% in Japan and Korea to 30% or more in the United States and Mexico. But in more than half of the 34 OECD countries, at least one in two people is now overweight or obese, and rates are projected to rise further. In some countries, two out of three people will be obese within 10 years, the report said.

This report, which the OECD said was a 2012 update to its 2010 report on the economics of obesity prevention entitled "Fit Not Fat," did however find some good news. New data for 10 of the 34 OECD countries showed that over the past decade, obesity rates slowed or stopped growing in England, Hungary, Italy, Korea, and Switzerland, and grew by only 2–3% in France and Spain. Yet in Canada, Ireland, and the United States obesity rates rose by 4–5%.

Looking at childhood obesity, rates have stabilized England, France, Korea, and the United States, and the OECD said this was partly due to governments stepping up efforts to tackle the root causes of obesity.

Reuters article