Advanced

Rising rural body-mass index is the main driver of the global obesity epidemic in adults

, (2019) In Nature 569(7755). p.260-264
Abstract

Body-mass index (BMI) has increased steadily in most countries in parallel with a rise in the proportion of the population who live in cities 1,2 . This has led to a widely reported view that urbanization is one of the most important drivers of the global rise in obesity 3–6 . Here we use 2,009 population-based studies, with measurements of height and weight in more than 112 million adults, to report national, regional and global trends in... (More)

Body-mass index (BMI) has increased steadily in most countries in parallel with a rise in the proportion of the population who live in cities 1,2 . This has led to a widely reported view that urbanization is one of the most important drivers of the global rise in obesity 3–6 . Here we use 2,009 population-based studies, with measurements of height and weight in more than 112 million adults, to report national, regional and global trends in mean BMI segregated by place of residence (a rural or urban area) from 1985 to 2017. We show that, contrary to the dominant paradigm, more than 55% of the global rise in mean BMI from 1985 to 2017—and more than 80% in some low- and middle-income regions—was due to increases in BMI in rural areas. This large contribution stems from the fact that, with the exception of women in sub-Saharan Africa, BMI is increasing at the same rate or faster in rural areas than in cities in low- and middle-income regions. These trends have in turn resulted in a closing—and in some countries reversal—of the gap in BMI between urban and rural areas in low- and middle-income countries, especially for women. In high-income and industrialized countries, we noted a persistently higher rural BMI, especially for women. There is an urgent need for an integrated approach to rural nutrition that enhances financial and physical access to healthy foods, to avoid replacing the rural undernutrition disadvantage in poor countries with a more general malnutrition disadvantage that entails excessive consumption of low-quality calories.

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Nature
volume
569
issue
7755
pages
5 pages
publisher
Nature Publishing Group
external identifiers
  • scopus:85065577280
ISSN
0028-0836
DOI
10.1038/s41586-019-1171-x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
217bc153-5e31-4150-b543-b15249378ec1
date added to LUP
2019-05-29 15:06:13
date last changed
2019-09-17 04:55:32
@article{217bc153-5e31-4150-b543-b15249378ec1,
  abstract     = {<p>                                                         Body-mass index (BMI) has increased steadily in most countries in parallel with a rise in the proportion of the population who live in cities                                                         <sup>1,2</sup>                                                         . This has led to a widely reported view that urbanization is one of the most important drivers of the global rise in obesity                                                         <sup>3–6</sup>                                                         . Here we use 2,009 population-based studies, with measurements of height and weight in more than 112 million adults, to report national, regional and global trends in mean BMI segregated by place of residence (a rural or urban area) from 1985 to 2017. We show that, contrary to the dominant paradigm, more than 55% of the global rise in mean BMI from 1985 to 2017—and more than 80% in some low- and middle-income regions—was due to increases in BMI in rural areas. This large contribution stems from the fact that, with the exception of women in sub-Saharan Africa, BMI is increasing at the same rate or faster in rural areas than in cities in low- and middle-income regions. These trends have in turn resulted in a closing—and in some countries reversal—of the gap in BMI between urban and rural areas in low- and middle-income countries, especially for women. In high-income and industrialized countries, we noted a persistently higher rural BMI, especially for women. There is an urgent need for an integrated approach to rural nutrition that enhances financial and physical access to healthy foods, to avoid replacing the rural undernutrition disadvantage in poor countries with a more general malnutrition disadvantage that entails excessive consumption of low-quality calories.                                                 </p>},
  author       = {, },
  issn         = {0028-0836},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {05},
  number       = {7755},
  pages        = {260--264},
  publisher    = {Nature Publishing Group},
  series       = {Nature},
  title        = {Rising rural body-mass index is the main driver of the global obesity epidemic in adults},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1171-x},
  volume       = {569},
  year         = {2019},
}