What is the global prevalence of obesity?

Updated: Jun 09, 2021
  • Author: Osama Hamdy, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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The prevalence of obesity worldwide is increasing, particularly in the industrialized nations of the Northern hemisphere, such as the United States, Canada, and most countries of Europe. Available data from the Multinational Monitoring of Trends and Determinants in Cardiovascular Disease (MONICA) project suggest that at least 15% of men and 22% of women in Europe are obese. [88, 89]

Similar data are being reported in other parts of the world, including from many developing nations. Reports from countries such as Malaysia, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and China have detailed an epidemic of obesity in the past 2-3 decades. Data from the Middle Eastern countries of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, and Lebanon, among others, indicate this same disturbing trend, with levels of obesity often exceeding 40%.

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