Low Carb Nugget 67
A new study pooled the height and weight data for nearly 130 million people around the world, aged 5 years and up, over the period 1975 to 2016, to gain insights into weight trends.There was some good news . . .
“Worldwide trends in body-mass index, underweight, overweight, and obesity from 1975 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 2416 population-based measurement studies in 128·9 million children, adolescents, and adults.” NCD Risk Factor Collaboration. The Lancet. October 10, 2017.
Low Carb Nugget 67
“Obesity isn’t the world’s only weight problem”
This is Episode 67 of the Low Carb Nugget for Thursday, October 12, 2017. I’m Jim Anderson.
From time to time, I like to check on what researchers have to say about the world’s battle against obesity. For the most part, humanity hasn’t been doing well in this battle. Obesity has been winning, both with adults and children.
But here’s another sad truth. Being obese or over-weight isn’t the only weight problem that people face. Especially children.
I was reminded of this today when looking over the findings of a new meta-study published in the British medical journal, The Lancet. The study analyzed data from more 2,400 earlier studies focused on BMI and weight trends among children, adolescents, and adults. The new study pooled the height and weight data for nearly 130 million people around the world, aged 5 years and up, over the period 1975 to 2016.
There was some good news about childhood obesity. The growth rate for kids’ BMI (body mass index) in some parts of the world has leveled off in recent years. “Plateaued” is the word the study uses. The rate has plateaued in higher income areas of the world, such as northwestern Europe and many relatively well-to-do English speaking countries. However, as the study notes, the plateau is a high one. For instance, in the USA, the prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents is about 20%.
In other parts of the world, such as east and south Asia, children’s BMI and obesity rates continue to climb. And the overweight trends for children in those areas no longer correlate with the trends for adults. The implication is that children’s nutrition no longer correlates with adults’.
Looking worldwide, in 2016, there were 124 million obese boys and girls. The study defined obesity as being more than two standard deviations above the median age-specific BMI.
But here’s the catch. In the same year, worldwide, there were 192 million moderately or severely underweight boys and girls. That’s 124 million obese vs. 192 million seriousy underweight. The underweight problem was most prevalent in India, where over 22% of girls and 30% of boys were moderately to severely underweight in 2016, and probably still are.
Is it worse to be obese or half-starved?
I don’t know. Neither one is good. But the next time you voluntarily skip a meal, or fast for a day, and feel like you’re starving, stop and think about what real starvation is.
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