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Obesity Rates Skyrocket Among Young People in Brazil

08/09/2017 - 09h50

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NATÁLIA CANCIAN
FROM BRASÍLIA

The Brazilian people have been starting the fight with the scales earlier. Over ten years, obesity has advanced across all age groups, but has almost doubled among young people aged 18-24 - from 4.4% to 8.5%.

And although its prevalence is still higher among people with lower schooling, obesity has also advanced among those with medium and high levels of study.

The analysis comes from a survey based on data and micro data from all editions of the Vigitel, a research by the Ministry of Health that investigates life habits and risk factors for chronic diseases.

Today, more than half of the adult population is overweight. And about one in five are obese, in which cases the body mass index (BMI) is equal to or greater than 30 kg/m². The index has grown 60% since 2006.

"This shows that it is not only the weight in excess that grows, but the severity of the disease," says Michele Lessa, nutrition and food coordinator at the Ministry of Health.

The percentage of adults with mild obesity (BMI between 30 and 35 kg/m²) increased 58% in the same period. At the other end, 1.6% of adults have "morbid" or "severe" (greater than 40 kg / m²) obesity.

The index of overweight and obesity also increases in the child population. About 33% of children from 5 to 9 years old are overweight, and 14.3% are obese, according to the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) 2009 data, the most recent available.

Translated by MARINA DELLA VALLE

Read the article in the original language

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Over ten years, obesity has advanced across all age groups, but has almost doubled among young people aged 18-24
Over ten years, obesity has advanced across all age groups, but has almost doubled among young people aged 18-24

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