Global obesity rising faster in rural areas than cities: Study

Updated:1 week, 5 days ago IST

New Delhi, May 10 (ANI): According to a recent study, obesity is increasing more rapidly in the world's rural areas than in the cities. As part of the study, a team of researchers analysed the height and weight data of more than 112 million adults across urban and rural areas of 200 countries and territories between 1985 and 2017. Height and weight can be used to calculate BMI, an internationally recognised scale which tells us whether an individual has a healthy weight for their height. The study, involving a network of more than 1000 researchers across the world, found that from 1985 to 2017, BMI rose by an average of 2.0 kg/m2 in women and 2.2 kg/m2 in men globally, equivalent to each person becoming 5-6 kg heavier. More than half of the global rise over these 33 years was due to increases in BMI in rural areas. In some low- and middle-income countries, rural areas were responsible for over 80 per cent of the increase. The team found that since 1985, average BMI in rural areas has increased by 2.1 kg/m2 in both women and men. But in cities, the increase was 1.3 kg/m2 and 1.6 kg/m2 in women and men respectively. These trends have led to striking changes in the geography of BMI over the three decades. In 1985, urban men and women in over three quarters of the countries had a higher BMI than their rural counterparts. Over time, the gap between urban and rural BMI in many of these countries shrank or even reversed.

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