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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “for every four adults in the world who are malnourished five more are overweight, 30% of them clinically obese.”
WHO said that the world’s obesity problem constitutes a global epidemic. One out of six people (or one billion) in the world is overweight. In comparison, 800 million people do not have enough to eat.
Obesity plagues some countries more than others. The number of obese makes up around 5% of the population in China, Japan and some African nations. By contrast, in parts of Samoa, 75% are considered obese.
Thirty percent of U.S. adults are categorized as clinically obese—roughly 60 million people. Among certain demographic groups, particularly African Americans, the percentage rises to 45%.
In the European Union, 45% of the population (or 200 million adults) is overweight.
Researchers say the cause of this rise in obesity is due to people’s inactive lifestyles and diets rich in sugar, fats and salt.
Meanwhile, a recent UN “food insecurity” report stated that world leaders are coming up short of their goal to cut in half the number of undernourished people in the world. The Millennium Development Goal was set in 1996 at the World Food Summit.
“Ten years later, we are confronted with the sad reality that virtually no progress has been made towards that objective,” Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Director-General Jacques Diouf said in the report.
Although there has been no reduction in the total number of hungry people—854 million people worldwide—the FAO report stated that a declining proportion of the population is underfed.
Leaders remain hopeful that the goal could still be reached by the 2015 deadline.
Source: AFP; Reuters