Last year, a group of scientists from all over the world made the effort to create a comprehensive picture on how obesity is today. Researchers collected data from 1,698 studies on adult obesity from 186 countries and 19.2 million participants for the past 40 years. All the results from the research were condensed into one single study that was published in Lancet medical journal.
Based on the results, the rates of obesity in every country have risen since 1975 without any exception. The results include the United States and the United Kingdom where food is affordable and abundant and countries like Somalia and Angola where there is widespread malnutrition. In Asia, obesity rates in North Korea increased from 1.6% in 1975 to 2.8%; in Japan, obesity rates increased from 1.1% in 1975 to 3.3% today.
The largest changes in obesity rates were very apparent in the smaller Pacific island countries that include Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu because the increase was more than 20% since 1975. Another country that stood out is China that used to have an obesity rate of 0.5% among adults. Now the obesity rate is 8%.
In terms of global obesity rates, the average adult today is 3 times more likely to be obese compared to adults in 1975. However, aside from the increasing rates of global obesity, a bigger problem was revealed by the research – information overload. The growth of the digital world is extremely fast and half of the information available today was just created 2 years ago.
Information is practically accessible to everyone. This study on obesity is a representation of the efforts of thousands of researchers who must have spent millions of hours to provide people with accurate data but with data visualization, the study is reduced to an intuitive and easy digestible graphic.
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