(NaturalNews) New research published in the journal The Lancet has revealed that global obesity rates have doubled since 1980. Some Western countries have been able to slightly reduce overall blood pressure and cholesterol rates, but nearly ten percent of men and 14 percent of women across the board are now obese.
"It's heartening that many countries have successfully reduced blood pressure and cholesterol despite rising BMI (body mass index)," said Majid Ezzati, senior author of the study and professor at Imperial College London. Ezzati attributes these factors to improved screening and treatment options, as well as dietary changes among industrialized populations. But he and others are greatly concerned about the rapid rise in obesity rates.
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, people with a BMI of between 25 - 29.9 are considered overweight, while those with a BMI of 30 or more are considered obese. Currently, the average BMI in the U.S. is 28, while in some Pacific island nations, average BMI's are as high as 35. Blood pressure levels are highest in some European countries, Africa, and the Baltic region, while cholesterol levels are highest primarily in Western Europe.
"Don't assume there's little we can do as individuals and nations (to combat obesity and heart disease)," said Dr. Lawrence J. Cheskin, director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, in an interview. "Let's work on changing our food supply and environment, reducing poverty, enhancing education about health promotion, and keeping moving."
Diet plays a significant role in obesity, as most of the refined, processed, and conventional foods people eat are loaded with harmful ingredients that contribute to the illness. Consuming high levels of nutrients, avoiding refined sugars, exercising regularly, avoiding toxic chemical additives, and skipping GMO-laden processed and junk foods, will all contribute to improved weight maintenance and better overall health (http://www.naturalnews.com/obesity.html).