-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, May 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity rates in
remote Himalayan mountain villages are five times higher than they
were two decades ago, according to a new study that highlights the
extent of the global obesity epidemic.
Obesity-related health issues have skyrocketed as well, the
Researchers looked at data from more than 4,600 adults in the
Gilgit Baltistan region of Pakistan who took part in surveys
conducted in 1995 and 2013. Over those 18 years, the obesity rate
rose from about 2 percent to almost 13 percent, and the proportion
of overweight people increased from almost 12 percent to about 27
"Overweight and obesity is a rapidly growing public health burden in the rural population of Pakistan. Overall obesity and central obesity were significant correlates for type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes in the high mountain study population," said Syed Shah, an associate professor at the Institute of Public Health of United Arab Emirates University, and colleagues.
The study was scheduled for presentation Tuesday at the European
Congress on Obesity in Bulgaria. Findings presented at meetings are
usually considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed
Of the nearly 1,100 people who took part in the 2013 survey,
more than 6 percent had type 2 diabetes and almost 8 percent had
pre-diabetes. Those with a waist circumference of 35 inches or more
were four times more likely to have diabetes than those with
smaller waists. Obese people were 16 times more likely to have
pre-diabetes than normal weight people.
However, the investigators also found that 9 percent of people
were underweight, which shows that the region faces "a dual war"
against both malnutrition and obesity, the researchers said in a
European Congress news release.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases outlines the
health risks of being overweight.
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