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Half-a-billion obese adults worldwide: study

More than half-a-billion adults worldwide are clinically obese, according to a study published in the Lancet journal.

world Updated: Feb 05, 2011 01:19 IST

More than half-a-billion adults worldwide are clinically obese, according to a study published in the 'Lancet' journal.

The study shows that in 2008, more than one in 10 of the world's adult population was obese, with women more likely to be obese than men. The figure included 205 million men and 297 million adult women. The study, carried out by a team from Imperial College London, Harvard and the World Health Organisation looked at available global data to assess how body mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol changed between 1980 and 2008. "Our results show that overweight and obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are no longer Western

problems or problems of wealthy nations. "Their presence has shifted towards low and middle income countries, making them global problems," author Prof Majid Ezzati said.

The proportion of the world's population with high blood pressure, or uncontrolled hypertension, fell modestly between 1980 and 2008, the study found.

However, because of population growth and ageing, the number of people with uncontrolled hypertension rose from 600 million in 1980 to nearly 1 billion in 2008. High-income countries achieved large reductions in uncontrolled hypertension, with the most impressive progress seen in women in Australasia and men in America.

Average levels of total blood cholesterol fell in North America, Australasia, the study found.