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Obesity Epidemic Is Now a Global Health Threat

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 110,000 Americans die as a result of obesity each year, and that one-third of all cancers are directly related to excess weight.

Data collected from over 60,000 Canadians also shows that obesity now leads to more doctor visits than smoking. One in four Americans is also pre-diabetic or diabetic, and heart disease and cancer-both of which are associated with obesity-top the mortality charts.

According to Christopher Murray,1 one of the authors of a comprehensive new analysis2, 3 published in The Lancet,4 all this excess body weight causes an estimated 3.4 million deaths worldwide each year. As noted by Bloomberg:5

"The estimated number of overweight or obese people almost tripled from 857 million in 1980 [to 2.1 billion in 2013]... Worldwide prevalence of obesity and overweight rose by 28 percent for adults and by 47 percent for children from 1980 and 2013...

'The rise in obesity among children is especially troubling in so many low- and middle-income countries,' Marie Ng, the study's lead author and an assistant professor of Global Health at the University of Washington, said in a statement.

'We know that there are severe downstream health effects from childhood obesity, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and many cancers.'"

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