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Research Updates | Obesity / Overweight

WHO finds obesity is related to oversupply of food

10 / 11 / 15

While there are perpetual arguments about whether obesity has been caused by reductions in physical activity, eating too much, or both, the WHO has determined the path to obesity has been paved primarily by an increase in food energy.

They examined the relationship between available food energy and body weight over time in 69 FAO countries between 1971 and 2010. Weight gain and food energy increases occurred in 56 of these countries, and in 45 of these the increases in food energy were enough (or more than enough) to explain the body weight increases. The authors report the increases were mostly from ultra-processed foods. The report concludes that policy efforts are needed to improve the healthiness of food systems and environments to reduce global obesity.

Read the report here