Wow of the Week: Obesity now tops hunger as the world’s biggest food problem

Wow of the Week is a weekly post on share-worthy medical technologies, stories, people or events.

A new analysis of global health data shows that the years of life lost from obesity outnumber those lost by hunger.

Data from the World Health Organization’s Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 was unveiled yesterday and will be published in The Lancet. According to CNN’s analysis of the study, obesity rates have increased 82 percent worldwide over the past two decades. Obesity is now a problem in all countries except for those in sub-Saharan Africa, and its associated complications produce health burdens higher than those caused by hunger.


The data does, however, point to impressive progress against malnutrition and infectious diseases, especially in children. “Kids who used to die from infectious disease are now doing extremely well with immunization,” Ali Mokdad, co-author of the study and professor of global health the University of Washington, told CNN.

[Photo from Flickr user colros]