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One-Third of the World’s Population is Obese or Overweight

Update Date: Jan 03, 2014 03:19 PM EST

Obesity, which is now considered a disease, can lead to several health complications, such as cardiovascular diseases and hypertension. Several campaigns throughout the world have attempted to reduce the obesity rate by promoting an overall healthy lifestyle balanced with good nutrition and physical activity. Despite these campaigns, a new report found that being overweight or obese affects one-third of the world's population.

According to the study out of the United Kingdom, obesity is hitting poorer countries a lot harder than developed nations. The Overseas Development Institute found that from 1980 to 2008, the number of people who are obese or overweight in developing nations have more than tripled from 250 million to 904 million. In developed and richer nations, the rate of the obese or overweight population increased by 1.7 percent within the same time period. In 2008, the number of people who were either obese or overweight is 557 million in developed countries. Overall, 1.46 billion people living throughout the world are obese or overweight.

"The statistics are quite sensational, it is a tripling of the number of people who are considered overweight and obese in the developing world since 1980," the report's author, Steve Wiggins said according to FOX News. "That takes the number to more than 900 million and that is more than the number of overweight and obese people that we have in the high-income countries, which is probably around 570 million, something like that. It is a very rapidly emerging problem and it is now of a very large size."

The researchers stated that in developing nations, the two leading causes of weight gain are richer diets and sedentary lifestyles. In today's society, people living in developing nations earn enough money to have diets that are high in fat, sugar and meat. Without an increase in physical activity, these types of diets can greatly affect waistlines and overall health.

"What has changed is that the majority of the people who are overweight or obese today can be found in developing, rather than the developed, world," the authors wrote reported by Time.

The report found that obesity has soared significantly specifically in Mexico and China. Both of these countries have doubled the rate since 1980. The report can be found here.

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