Behold: The World’s 10 Fattest Countries

Laurie Cunningham writes on GlobalPost:

If you tend to pack on a few pounds over the holidays, blame it on globalization. As the world has grown smaller, we’ve all grown larger — alarmingly so. In countries around the world, waistlines are expanding so rapidly that health experts recently coined a term for the epidemic: globesity.

The common fat-o-meter among nations is body mass index (BMI), a calculation based on a person’s height and weight. The World Health Organization defines “overweight” as an individual with a BMI of 25 or more and “obese” as someone with a BMI of 30 or higher. (To see how you weigh in, use this calculator by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.)

Today, one in three of the world’s adults is overweight and one in 10 is obese. By 2015, WHO estimates the number of chubby adults will balloon to 2.3 billion — equal to the combined populations of China, Europe and the U.S.

The rise in obesity coincides with increased modernization and a worldwide explosion in the availability of highly processed foods. In the past 50 years, more of us have started driving to work instead of walking, opening a box of mac ‘n cheese instead of cooking, pushing computer keys instead of plows and taking the elevator rather than the stairs.

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