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Global Obesity Rates Doubled Over Last 30 Years, Researchers Say

“Obesity rates worldwide have doubled in the last three decades, even as blood pressure and cholesterol levels have dropped,” according to a series of papers published Friday in the Lancet, the Associated Press/New York Times reports (8/25). According to the researchers, “1.5 billion adults are overweight and another half-a-billion are obese,” and “the rise in obesity is likely to lead to an increase in the number of people afflicted by diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other illnesses, adding to the cost of healthcare,” VOA News’ “Breaking News” blog writes (8/25).

“The international group of researchers … said no country had yet got to grips with the problem” and that “[t]ougher action — including taxing junk food — is needed by all governments if the obesity crisis is going to be tackled,” according to BBC News. “They predicted obesity rates would rise from a quarter in the U.K. to about 40 percent by 2030” and that in the U.S. “obesity rates would rise from one in three to about one in two,” BBC notes (Triggle, 8/25).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.