According to a study published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine, Egypt has the highest percentage of obese adults worldwide.
Around 19 million Egyptians, or 35 percent of the adult population, are obese – the highest rate across the globe.
In addition, over 10 percent, or 3.6 million, of children are also considerably overweight, the study reported.
The findings, which were published in the esteemed medical journal by a group of researchers on Wednesday, point to “a growing and disturbing global public health crisis.”
Over 2 billion people globally are suffering from health issues as a result of obesity, which has lead to a rising number of deaths among those who are overweight.
Egypt and Obesity
For obesity rates in adults, Egypt tops the list worldwide, however the United States carries the highest percentage of obese children at 13 percent. This compares to 10.2 percent of children in Egypt, according to the study.
“Obesity is a tremendous threat to health in Egypt. More than one in three Egyptians is obese – the highest rate in the world,” stated Dr. Ali Mokdad, one of the authors of the report and the Director of Middle Eastern Initiatives in the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).
“This puts them at high risk for diabetes, heart disease, and different forms of cancer. This is a potential health crisis that must be addressed sooner rather than later,” he added.
“People who shrug off weight gain do so at their own risk – risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and other life-threatening conditions,” another author, Dr. Christopher Murray, said.
The study examined 195 nations and regions across more than three decades, from 1980 to 2015. It was then published in the yearly EAT Stockholm Food Forum, a conference that aims to discover healthier, safer, and more sustainable nutrition regimens.