3 January 2014
There are new calls for governments around the world to create laws which prevent people eating too much unhealthy food. Researchers at Britain's Overseas Development Institute, say the number of overweight and obese adults in developing countries went up almost four times between 1980 and 2008.
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Globally, one in three adults is now considered overweight or obese. In 1980 it was one in five.
The Future Diets report analysed existing data and found the steepest rise has been in developing nations like Mexico and Egypt, where people are spending their increasing disposable incomes on fatty, sugary foods. Numbers almost quadrupled from 250 million to 904 million.
The report also said that western countries which have been dealing with the obesity problem for longer have so far failed to tackle it effectively.
It highlighted a more successful mass campaign in South Korea to train women how to prepare traditional low-fat meals.
The report suggests following the example of some American states in taxing things like fizzy drinks and sugary sweets. It also warns if current global trends continue, there will be a huge increase in heart attacks, strokes and diabetes.
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- disposable incomes
money left after spending on essential things like food and accommodation
became four times larger
(here) legally making something more expensive so it is less affordable
- fizzy drinks
drinks with high amounts of sugar and gas added to make them bubbly
medical condition in which brain cells suddenly die due to lack of blood supply