New dynamics in global obesity facing low- and middle-income countries
Article first published online: 23 OCT 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Obesity Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the International Association for the Study of Obesity.
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Special Issue: Program and Policy Options for Preventing Obesity in the Low, Middle, and Transitional Income Countries
Volume 14, Issue Supplement S2, pages 11–20, November 2013
How to Cite
Popkin, B. M. and Slining, M. M. (2013), New dynamics in global obesity facing low- and middle-income countries. Obesity Reviews, 14: 11–20. doi: 10.1111/obr.12102
- Issue published online: 23 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 23 OCT 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 9 SEP 2013 06:50AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 14 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 13 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Received: 8 AUG 2013
- Rockefeller Foundation
- Nutrition Transition Program of the University of North Carolina
- National Institutes of Health (NIH). Grant Numbers: R01-HD30880, DK056350, 5 R24 HD050924, R01-HD38700
- Low- and middle-income countries;
- obesity prevalence;
- obesity trends;
- waist circumference
Levels of overweight and obesity across low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) have approached levels found in higher-income countries. This is particularly true in the Middle East and North Africa and in Latin America and the Caribbean. Using nationally representative samples of women aged 19–49, n = 815,609, this paper documents the annualized rate of increase of overweight from the first survey in early 1990 to the last survey in the present millennium. Overweight increases ranged from 0.31% per year to 0.92% per year for Latin America and the Caribbean and for the Middle East and North Africa, respectively. For a sample of eight countries, using quantile regression, we further demonstrate that mean body mass index (BMI) at the 95th percentile has increased significantly across all regions, representing predicted weight increases of 5–10 kg. Furthermore we highlight a major new concern in LMICs, documenting waist circumference increases of 2–4 cm at the same BMI (e.g. 25) over an 18-year period. In sum, this paper indicates growing potential for increased cardiometabolic problems linked with a large rightward shift in the BMI distribution and increased waist circumference at each BMI level.