Chronic diseases and health promotion

Part Two. The urgent need for action

Chapter One. Chronic diseases: causes and health impact


Projections by country income group

Body mass index

In both men and women, there is expected to be a steady increase in average body mass index, and associated overweight and obesity levels will rise regardless of income grouping. The largest increase is projected to be in women from upper middle income countries. This group has already overtaken women in high income countries.

Country profiles

Once associated only with high income countries, overweight and obesity are now also prevalent in low and middle income countries. A rapid increase in overweight is expected in all of the selected countries except the United Republic of Tanzania, although clear differences remain between countries and between men and women. The highest projected prevalence of overweight in women in the selected countries in 2015 will be in Brazil, followed by the United Kingdom, the Russian Federation and Canada. The most rapid increase, albeit from a low level, is expected in Chinese women.

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