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Last updated at 13:13 GMT, Friday, 03 January 2014

Huge increase in obesity


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.


Tulip Mazumdar

An overweight couple in Britain

Western countries have failed in dealing with obesity


Click to hear the report


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.


Click here to hear the vocabulary



(here) biggest

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