Obesity ticks upward in US: government data

The adult obesity rate in the US has risen steadily since 1999, when 30.5 percent of adults were obese. (AP)
Updated 13 October 2017
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Obesity ticks upward in US: government data

MIAMI: The rate of obesity in the US has reached a new high, at 39.6 percent of adults, according to government data released Friday.
Health experts are concerned about obesity because it is associated with a number of life-threatening health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain kinds of cancer.
The adult obesity rate in the US has risen steadily since 1999, when 30.5 percent of adults were obese.
“From 1999-2000 through 2015-2016, a significantly increasing trend in obesity was observed in both adults and youth,” said the report, based on a nationally representative sample of the population, and issued by the National Center for Health Statistics.
“The observed change in prevalence between 2013-2014 and 2015-2016, however, was not significant among both adults and youth.”
Its previous report for 2013 to 2014 found that 37.7 percent of adults were obese.
Researchers said the difference between the current and last report is not statistically significant because it falls within the margin of error of the estimate.
Adult obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.
Among youths aged two to 19, 18.5 percent are obese, the report said.
The rate of youth obesity was 13.9 percent in 1999.


WHO: Alcohol abuse kills 3 million a year, most of them men

The logo of the World Health Organization (WHO) is pictured on the facade of the WHO headquarters on October 24, 2017 in Geneva. (AFP)
Updated 22 September 2018
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WHO: Alcohol abuse kills 3 million a year, most of them men

  • Of all deaths attributable to alcohol, 28 percent were due to injuries, such as traffic accidents and interpersonal violence
  • An estimated 2.3 billion people worldwide drink alcohol, with average daily consumption of people at 33 grams of pure alcohol a day

GENEVA: More than 3 million people died in 2016 due to drinking too much alcohol, meaning one in 20 deaths worldwide was linked to harmful drinking, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.
More than three quarters of these deaths were among men, the UN health agency said. Despite evidence of the health risks it carries, global consumption of alcohol is predicted to rise in the next 10 years.
“It’s time to step up action to prevent this serious threat to the development of healthy societies,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said.
In its “Global status report on alcohol and health 2018,” the WHO said that globally, an estimated 237 million men and 46 million women are problem drinkers or alcohol abusers. The highest prevalence is in Europe and the Americas, and alcohol-use disorders are more common in wealthier countries.
Of all deaths attributable to alcohol, 28 percent were due to injuries, such as traffic accidents and interpersonal violence. Another 21 percent were due to digestive disorders, and 19 percent due to cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes.
An estimated 2.3 billion people worldwide drink alcohol, with average daily consumption of people at 33 grams of pure alcohol a day. This is roughly equivalent to two 150 ml glasses of wine, a large (750 ml) bottle of beer or two 40 ml shots of spirits.
Europe has the highest per person alcohol consumption in the world, even though it has dropped by around 10 percent since 2010. Current trends point to a global rise in per capita consumption in the next 10 years, the report said, particularly in Southeast Asia, the Western Pacific and the Americas.
“All countries can do much more to reduce the health and social costs of the harmful use of alcohol,” said Vladimir Poznyak, of the WHO’s substance abuse unit. He said proven, cost-effective steps included raising alcohol taxes, restricting advertising and limiting easy access to alcohol.
Worldwide, 45 percent of total alcohol consumed is in the form of spirits. Beer is the second most popular, accounting for 34 percent of consumption, followed by wine at 12 percent.
The report found that almost all countries have alcohol excise taxes, but fewer than half of them use other pricing strategies such as banning below-cost sales or bulk buy discounts.