Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes — a worldwide epidemic

  • Jacob C. Seidell (a1)

Abstract

Obesity is now commonly defined in adults as a BMI > 30 kg/m2. The prevalence of obesity in established market economies (Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, etc.) varies greatly, but a weighed estimate suggests an average prevalence in the order of 15–20 %. The prevalence in these countries generally shows increasing trends over time. Obesity is also relatively common in Latin America, but much less so in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia where the majority of the world population lives. Nevertheless obesity rates are increasing there as well and, more importantly, rates of diabetes are increasing even more quickly, particularly in Asian countries. The risks of type 2 diabetes mellitus in these countries tend to increase sharply at levels of BMI generally classified as acceptable in European and North American white people. There have been suggestions to adopt specific classifications of obesity in Asians (e.g. BMI 23 for overweight and 25 or 27 kg/m2 for obesity) and this will greatly affect the prevalence estimates of obesity worldwide (currently at about 250 million people). Particularly for health promotion purposes BMI may be replaced by a classification based on waist circumference, but also specific classifications for different ethnic groups may be necessary. The number of diabetics has been projected to increase from 135 million in 1995 to 300 million in 2025. Much of this increase will be seen in Asia. In summary, both obesity and type 2 diabetes are common consequences of changing lifestyles (increased sedentary lifestyles and increased energy density of diets). Both are potentially preventable through lifestyle modification on a population level, but this requires a coherent and multifaceted strategy. Such strategies are not developed or implemented. These developments point toward the great urgency to develop global and national plans for adequate prevention and management of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes — a worldwide epidemic
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes — a worldwide epidemic
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes — a worldwide epidemic
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: J. C. Seidell, fax +31 30 274 4407, email j.seidell@rivm.nl

References

Hide All
Egger, G & Swinburn, B (1997) An ‘ecological’ approach to the obesity pandemic. British Medical Journal 315, 477480.
Flegal, KM, Carroll, MD, Kuczmarski, RJ & Johnson, CL (1998) Overweight and obesity in the United States: prevalence and trends, 1960–1994. International Journal of Obesity 22, 3947.
Jeffery, RW & French, SA (1999) Preventing weight gain in adults: the pound of prevention study. American Journal of Public Health 89, 747751.
King, H, Aubert, RE & Herman, WH (1998) Global burden of diabetes 1995–2025. Prevalence, numerical estimates and projections. Diabetes Care 21, 14141431.
Kosaka, K, Kuzuya, T, Yoshinaga, H & Hagura, R (1996) A prospective study of health check examinees for the development of non-isulin-dependent diabates mellitus: relationship of the incidence of diabetes with initial insulinogenic index and degree of obesity. Diabetic Medicine 13, S120-S126.
Molarius, A, Seidell, JC, Sans, S, Tuomilehto, J & Kuulasmaa, K (2000) Educational level and relative body weight, and changes in their association over 10 years — an international perspective from the WHO MONICA project American Journal of Public Health.
Monteiro, CA, Benicio, MH, Conde, WL & Popkin, BM (2000) Shifting obesity trends in Brazil European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Pietinen, P, Vartiainen, E, Seppanen, R, Aro, A & Puska, P (1996) Changes in diet in Finland from 1972 to 1992: impact on coronary heart disease risk. Preventive Medicine 25, 243250.
Pietinen, P, Vartiainen, E & Mannisto, S (1996) Trends in body mass index and obesity among adults in Finland from 1972 to 1992. International Journal of Obesity 20, 114120.
Popkin, BM, Keyou, G, Fengying, Z, Guo, X, Haijiang, M & Zohoori, N (1993) The nutrition transition in China: a cross-sectional analysis. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 47, 333346.
Seidell, JC (1998) Time trends in obesity: an epidemiological perspective. Hormone and Metabolic Research 21, 155158.
Seidell, JC (1999) Prevention of obesity: the role of the food industry. Nutrition Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease 9, 4550.
Seidell, JC (1999) The burden of obesity and its sequelae. Disease Management and Health Outcomes 5, 1321.
Seidell, JC (1999) Optimizing fat intake: does a reduction in fat intake prevent obesity? European Heart Journal S118S122.
Seidell, JC & Rissanen, A (1998) Time trends in the worldwide prevalence of obesity. In Handbook of Obesity, pp. 7991 [GA, Bray, C, Bouchard, WPT, James, editors]. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker.
Vartiainen, E, Puska, P, Pekkanen, J, Tuomilehto, J & Jousilahti, P (1994) Changes in risk factors explain changes in mortality from ischaemic heart disease in Finland. British Medical Journal 309, 2327.
Vartiainen, E, Sarti, C, Tuomilehto, J & Kuuulasmaa, K (1995) Do changes in cardiovascular risk factors explain changes in mortality from stroke in Finland?. British Medical Journal 310, 901904.
Wannamethee, SG & Shaper, AG (1999) Weight change and duration of overweight and obesity in the incidence of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 22, 12661272.
WHO (1998 a) The World Health Report 1998. Life in the 21st Century — a Vision for All.Geneva, Switzerland:WHO.
WHO (1998 b) Obesity — Preventing and Managing the Global Epidemic.Geneva, Switzerland:WHO.
Williamson, DF (1996) The effectiveness of community-based health education trials for the control of obesity. In Progress in Obesity Research 7, pp. 331335 [Angel, A , Anderson, H , Bouchard, C et al. , editors]. London, UK: J. Libbey & Co.
Wolf, MA & Colditz, GA (1998) Current estimates of the economic cost of obesity in the United States. Obesity Research 6, 97106.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed