Obesity Rates Worldwide Have Doubled In The Last Three Decades
The AP (2/4, Cheng) reports that "obesity rates worldwide have doubled in the last three decades even as blood pressure and cholesterol levels have dropped, according to three new studies" published in The Lancet. Researchers found that "in 1980, about five percent of men and eight percent of women worldwide were obese. By 2008, the rates were nearly 10 percent for men and 14 percent for women."
The Los Angeles Times (2/3, Stein) "Booster Shots" blog reported that "Pacific Islanders have on average the highest BMI scores in the world," while "people in the United States have the highest BMI among high-income countries."
Bloomberg News (2/4, von Schaper) reports that "cholesterol levels declined in North America, Australia and Europe, but increased in East and Southeast Asia as well as the Pacific region."
The Washington Post (2/4, Brown) reports that "the United States and Australia now have some of the lowest average blood pressures in the world." The findings come from "national data and surveys from 199 countries." Reuters (2/4, Steenhuysen, Kelland), the CNN (2/3) "The Chart" blog, MedPage Today (2/3, Neale), HeartWire (2/3, O'Riordan), BBC News (2/4), the UK's Press Association (2/4), and the UK's Daily Mail (2/4, Hope) also covered the story.
Poor Eating, Exercise Habits, Not Genetics, May Underlie Rise In Teen Obesity Rates. HealthDay (2/3, Mozes) reported, "Poor eating and activity habits, not genetics, are the underlying causes for most cases of adolescent obesity," according to a study recently published in the American Heart Journal. After analyzing data on "more than 1,000 Michigan sixth-grade students who participated in the Project Healthy Schools program," researchers found that "15 percent of the participants were obese," with almost all of those having "poor eating habits." What's more, the obese youngsters were far less likely to exercise than their leaner peers and more likely to spend at least two hours a day watching television.
Children Whose Moms Work Long Hours More Likely To Become Obese. The UK's Telegraph (2/4, Alleyne) reports that, according to a study published in the journal Child Development, youngsters "whose mothers work long hours are more likely to become obese." After examining data on some 900 children derived from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, researchers found that "for every 10 hours a week a mother works, the weight of their children increases by on average one and a half percent." The authors theorized that "working parents have limited time for grocery shopping and food preparation which may contribute to a greater reliance on eating out or eating prepared foods, which tend to be high in fat and calories."