Global obesity at all-time high with billions overweight

The global fight against obesity is far from over, according to new research. (Via Flickr / Tobyotter )

"Not one single developed country across the world has been able to lower their obesity rate in 30 years, according to brand new numbers, anyway, from the University of Washington." (Via HLN )

The study's researchers found the number of people around the globe who are obese or overweight has reached a staggering total of 2.1 billion — up from 875 million in 1980. (Via CNN )

The study's lead author told CBS : "It's pretty grim. ... When we realized that not a single country has had a significant decline in obesity, that tells you how hard a challenge this is."

The study's authors reviewed data from more than 1,700 studies from 188 nations. The studies took place between 1980 and 2013. (Via The Lancet )

The highest rates of people who are now overweight or obese were in the Middle East and North Africa — researchers found 60 percent of men and 65 percent of women there are above healthy weights. (Via Google Maps )

But the country that claims the highest percentage of global obesity? The fast food-loving, sugar-enamored United States of America.

The study found the U.S. has about 13 percent of the world's overweight population. To put things in perspective — China and India combined account for about 15 percent. (Via MSNBC )

One of the researchers involved in the study told the BBC  affected countries aren't seeing success in fighting obesity because it's still a relatively new health problem and it will take some time before we start seeing results.

"Our experience with obesity is that it has spread like an epidemic. So basically, nobody was immune, no country. I mean, every segment of the population, we've seen an increase in obesity." (Via Al Jazeera )

The researchers did find obesity rates were higher for men in developed countries, probably because of easier access to junk food and more time spent inactive in front of the TV or computer, as USA Today points out.

To fight the ongoing obesity epidemic, the study's authors are — of course — encouraging people to be more physically active and to cut down on fat and sugar. The study was published Thursday in the journal The Lancet.

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