There are more obese or overweight people in the world today than there were people of any weight in 1935, the most comprehensive look at worldwide obesity in decades warns. The 188-country study found that there are 2.1 billion overweight or obese people in the world, making up around 30% of the world's population, up from 20% in 1980, USA Today reports. Not a single country has recorded a decline in obesity over the last 30 years. "We hoped there would be some examples of success that you could latch onto," a study co-author says. "But there's a complete lack of success stories in bringing down obesity."
The study published in British medical journal the Lancet found that the Middle East and north Africa had seen the biggest weight gains, though the US still has the largest number of obese people, with 87 million of the world's 671 million obese people, reports Reuters. Other countries, however, have even higher obesity rates, including Tonga, where more than 50% of all adults are obese. "Two-thirds of the obese population actually resides in developing countries," says one of the researchers; they warn that obesity rates are rising among rich and poor countries, men and women, and adults and children alike.