Obesity rising faster in rural areas

Obesity is increasing more rapidly in the world’s rural areas than in cities, according to a study of global trends in BMI.

The study, published in the Nature , analysed the height and weight data of over 112 million adults across urban and rural areas of 200 countries.

The study found that from 1985 to 2017, BMI rose by an average of 2 kg/m2 in women and 2.2 kg/m2 in men globally, equivalent to each person becoming five to six kg heavier.

“The results of this study overturn commonly held perceptions that more people living in cities is the main cause of the global rise in obesity,” said Professor Majid Ezzati of Imperial’s School of Public Health. “This means that we need to rethink how we tackle this global health problem.”