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Behold: The world's 10 Fattest Countries
In countries around the world, waistlines are expanding so rapidly that health experts recently coined a term for the epidemic:GLOBESITY.
By Laurie Cunningham — Special to Global Post
Published: November 25, 2009
1) American Samoa, 93.5 percent (of population that's overweight)
2) Kiribati, 81.5 percent
3) U.S., 66.7 percent
4) Germany, 66.5 percent
5) Egypt, 66 percent
6) Bosnia-Herzegovina, 62.9 percent
7) New Zealand, 62.7 percent
8) Israel, 61.9 percent
9) Croatia, 61.4 percent
10) United Kingdom, 61 percent
(Other countries to look out for: Australia, Chile, Mexico)
Researchers say modifiable risk factors are what led to the decline of heart disease. These included a 41 percent drop in smoking, a 175 percent increase in hormone replacement therapy among postmenopausal women and dietary changes that included more fiber, fish oil and folate and less saturated and trans-fatty acids.
This report shows how strange things are getting. Women are getting healthier at the same time they're getting heavier, which shows that body size may not be an accurate predictor of how well we're doing.
Source: Family Practice News,
LONDON — If it really is what’s on the inside that counts, then a lot of thin people might be in trouble.
Some doctors now think that the internal fat surrounding vital organs like the heart, liver or pancreas — invisible to the naked eye — could be as dangerous as the more obvious external fat that bulges underneath the skin.
“Being thin doesn’t automatically mean you’re not fat,” said Dr. Jimmy Bell, a professor of molecular imaging at Imperial College, London. Since 1994, Bell and his team have scanned nearly 800 people with MRI machines to create “fat maps” showing where people store fat.
According to the data, people who maintain their weight through diet rather than exercise are likely to have major deposits of internal fat, even if they are otherwise slim. “The whole concept of being fat needs to be redefined,” said Bell, whose research is funded by Britain’s Medical Research Council.
Without a clear warning signal — like a rounder middle — doctors worry that thin people may be lulled into falsely assuming that because they’re not overweight, they’re healthy.
Genetics Has Key Role In Obesity
ScienceDaily (Oct. 17, 2007) — New evidence that genetics plays a key role in obesity is published in the International Journal of Bioinformatics Research and Applications. The findings relate to the genetics of modern Pima Indians who have an unusually high rate of obesity but the finding could be extrapolated to all people. Their obesity is thought to be linked to a thrifty metabolism that allowed them to metabolize food more efficiently in times when little was available but causes problems when food is in abundance.
evolutionary selection on Pima Indians, a people indigenous to the present-day Sonora desert of Arizona and New Mexico. The researchers anticipated an effect consistent with higher metabolic efficiency among these people and focused specifically on recently discovered variations in their mitochondrial DNA, so-called SNPs, or single nucleotide polymorphisms.
The metabolic rates of 200 obese Pima individuals were measured and revealed that two of the three known SNPs influence metabolic efficiency. The researchers then used the genetics software TreeSAAP, to analyze the biochemical changes caused by these SNPs and then tracked the evolutionary selection of these genetic variations in 107 different types of mammals. This allowed them to propose a mechanism by which these SNPs affect the mitochondrial respiratory chain and consequently increase metabolic efficiency in the Pima people.
The team suggests that an increased metabolic efficiency could have been an evolutionary advantage. The SNPs may have persisted because they helped the Pima survive the harsh dietary environment of the Sonora desert throughout the history of the people.