U.S. has most obese children, young adults

A new study on global obesity paints a troubling picture for health in America. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the United States has the greatest percentage of obese children and young adults at 13 percent, while Egypt led in terms of adult obesity, with almost 35 percent among the 195 countries included in the study.

Worldwide, more than 2 billion adults and children are overweight or obese and suffer health problems because of their weight. That means that one-third of the world’s population is overweight, due to poor diets, lack of physical activity and urbanization.

“People who shrug off weight gain do so at their own risk – risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and other life-threatening conditions,” said Dr. Christopher Murray of the University of Washington, who worked on the study.

“Those half-serious New Year’s resolutions to lose weight should become year-round commitments to lose weight and prevent future weight gain.”

With obesity increasing, there is an urgent need for better nutrition and other efforts to prevent unhealthy weight gain said Dr. Ashkan Afshin, the study’s lead author.

However, “there is no single simple solution for the problem of overweight and obesity,” he said.