We’re facing global obesity, blood pressure and
has showed that while developed western countries are making
progress tackling the leading risk factors for heart disease, some
parts of the world are still lagging behind.
The inequalities were highlighted in three
global studies looking at body mass index (BMI), cholesterol and blood
pressure over the last 28 years. The results showed that in
2008 more than one in ten of the world’s adult population was
obese, with women more likely to be obese than men. An estimated
total of more than half a billion adults were obese
worldwide – nearly double the level recorded in 1980.
growing and ageing population also meant the number of people with
uncontrolled high blood pressure rose from 600 million in
1980 to nearly a billion in 2008
. And while average levels
of blood cholesterol fell in western countries of North America,
Australasia and Europe, they increased in East and Southeast Asia
and the Pacific region.
Our associate medical director, Dr
Mike Knapton, said:
It’s an ugly, upward trend but it can be reversed.
“There has been a
striking escalation of obesity over the last thirty years and, make
no mistake, we’re facing a global challenge tackling the
swell in BMI, cholesterol and blood pressure
– all leading
heart disease risk factors.
“It’s an ugly, upward trend but it can be
reversed with effective policies and sensible lifestyle
changes, supported by important developments in
“Global inequalities still exist but it’s not
all bad news. We’ve seen marked progress in reducing blood pressure
and cholesterol across the developed world, proving
lifestyle and medical interventions can work.”