Global Health Observatory (GHO)

Obesity among women

Situation and trends

Obesity is on the rise in cities around the world. Urbanization has been associated with a shift towards calorie-dense diets, characterized by high-levels of fat, sugar, and salt. In middle- and high-income countries, the poor tend to be more obese than the wealthy. It is likely that several factors contribute to this relationship, but one explanation is that calorie-dense foods, such as fried or processed foods, tend to cost less on a per-calorie basis, when compared to fruits and vegetables. Moreover, people in cities tend to have physically inactive types of employment, and urban sprawl further discourages physical activity. Other factors that inhibit regular physical activity include overcrowding, high-volume traffic, overreliance on motorized transportation, crime, and poor air quality.


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