22 August 2014

Worldwide obesity

An amazing pair of numbers from the most recent Harper's Index:
Year in which the World Health Organization began keeping records on global obesity:  1980

Number of years since then in which at least one country has reduced its obesity rate:  0
There are a few details and some commentary at the New York Times; presumably there is more in-depth analysis elsewhere.


  1. As they keep lowering the threshold for what qualifies as obesity it's a little tricky to reverse the trend.

  2. There should also be a helpful statistic for the number of currently obese people who would have died horribly of starvation and secondary illnesses of malnutrition if we didn't have the amazing food abundance modern agriculture has brought us.

    This is another case where technology has created a new problem, but it is pretty common for the new problem to be less severe than the old problem.


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