Obesity epidemic 'engulfing the entire world'
"This insidious, creeping pandemic of obesity is now engulfing the entire world. It's as big a threat as global warming and bird flu." This warning came from Paul Zimmet during his opening address at the 10th International Congress on Obesity in Sydney on Sunday, according to a report by the Associated Press.
Zimmet, an expert on diabetes at Monash University in Australia, said that overweight people now outnumber the undernourished. The World Health Organization's estimates agree: globally, there are one billion overweight adults, and 300 million of them are obese; in contrast, about 800 million do not have enough to eat. Today obesity is a problem mainly in rich countries, but the WHO estimates that by 2010 the developing world will have more than caught up.
“Overweight people now outnumber the undernourished”
Childhood obesity is also reaching epidemic proportions, with an estimated 22 million children worldwide classed as obese. Ailments related to obesity, such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke, could soon overwhelm health services everywhere.