Although the United States has been riding the cutting edge of the global obesity trend for decades, other countries, including some in the developing world, are catching up. This is not progress.

The Overseas Development Institute in the U.K. brings this dispiriting word of increasing girth around the globe, with figures pointing to problems in China, Mexico, South Africa and Egypt — and health issues are part of the package, according to the BBC:

The report predicts a “huge increase” in heart attacks, strokes and diabetes.

Globally, the percentage of adults who were overweight or obese – classed as having a body mass index greater than 25 – grew from 23% to 34% between 1980 and 2008.

The majority of this increase was seen in the developing world, particularly in countries where incomes were rising, such as Egypt and Mexico.

The ODI’s Future Diets report says this is due to changing diets and a shift from eating cereals and grains to the consumption of more fats, sugar, oils and animal products.

A total of 904 million people in developing countries are now classed as overweight or above, with a BMI of more than 25, up from 250 million in 1980.

One Steve Wiggins, an author of the report, suggests, “Politicians need to be less shy about trying to influence what food ends up on our plates.” But then there’s this — and also this.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

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