Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fat is spreading

19.02.2002


Obesity epidemic sweeps into developing world


Obesity spreads: world health declines.
© Getty Images



Obesity is spreading to all corners of the globe, researchers warned the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston. Sedentary lifestyles and fast food are causing previously unaffected populations to fall foul of fat.

"Obesity is no longer confined to Western, industrialized societies," said anthropologist Marquisa LaVelle of the University of Rhode Island, Providence. Guatemalans in the United States, South Pacific islanders and desert-dwelling Australians are all expanding.


"It puts a burden on the developing world they can ill-afford," LaVelle warned. Obesity increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. "A decline in world health is inevitable," she said.

The scale of the epidemic is challenging the view that laziness or genetics are to blame for obesity. Campaigns to promote exercise and a healthy diet have done little to stem obesity’s spread.

LaVelle wants cities and buildings designed to help people lead healthier lives. Urban areas should incorporate playgrounds and footpaths, she suggests. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta have begun a project to explore these possibilities.

Obesogenics

The South Pacific may have the world’s highest rates of obesity. In Rarotonga, the capital of the Cook Islands, 52% of men were clinically obese in 1996, compared with only 14% in 1966, Stanley Ulijaszek of the University of Oxford, UK, told the meeting. The figures are worse among skilled professionals.

In rural Papua New Guinea, obesity is on the rise thanks to higher incomes and connections to urban centres. "Modernizing influences are penetrating the remotest places on Earth," said Ulijaszek.

The global spread of sedentary jobs and energy-rich foods has triggered the epidemic, the researchers agreed. LaVelle labels the lifestyle "obesogenic".

Some populations with a genetic susceptibility to gaining weight may have been held in check by diet and physical activity until now. But a lifestyle switch can cause dramatic increases in obesity within a generation. "The brakes are taken off," said Barry Bogin of the University of Michigan in Dearborn.

Mayan children living in the United States are taller and heavier than their counterparts in Guatemala, Dearborn and his colleagues have found. Children whose favourite activity is TV or computer games are at a greater risk of being overweight.

HELEN PEARSON | © Nature News Service
Further information:
http://www.nature.com/nsu/020218/020218-2.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>