Bulging waistlines around the world are going to cause a public health disaster over the next 20 years unless the spread of obesity is checked, a new study warns. A third of Americans are now classed as obese and researchers predict it will be 50% by 2030, resulting in millions more cases of diabetes and heart disease, ABC reports. "At the rate we're looking at right now, it's a dire prediction," the study's lead author says. "Something has to be done."
The rise in obesity in all but the poorest countries "is being driven by changes in the food system,” a World Health Organization expert tells CNN. “The food supply: increasingly processed, available, affordable and highly promoted tasty food." The researchers say that governments need to take the lead in the fight against obesity in the same way they did in campaigns to reduce smoking. "We’ve let the market do its work and it’s worked well to produce obesity," a study author says.