Half of all Brazilian adults are overweight

– The 49% of Brazilians over 20 are overweight and that condition is worse among men (50.1%) than women (48%), according to a study released today by the Brazilian Government.

The numbers are worrisome not only due to the high percentage of overweight Brazilian adults, statistics show that 14.8% are obese, and only 2.7% is underweight, the study was titled “Anthropometry and nutritional status of children, adolescents and adults in Brazil,” and was published by the Brazilian Geography and Statistics Institute (IBGE).

Obesity affects more women (16.9%) than men (12.5%) over 20 years of age.

Being overweight also afflicts one in three children (33.5%) between 5 and 9 years and obesity at that age is 14.3%. The percentage of adolescents between 10 and 19 years that were overweight is 20.5%, the obese 4.9%, and 3.4% with low weight.

The research, which interviewed 188,000 people of all ages between May 2008 and May 2009, assessed the nutritional status of Brazilians by age, height, weight and body mass index (BMI).

The study considered people obese when the body mass index exceeded 25 kilos per square meter, obese which exceeded 30 kilos per square meter and underweight those that reached 18.5 kilos per square meter.

According to the Institute, the rate of overweight adults has increased gradually since the seventies. The percentage of overweight men jumped from 18.5% in 1970 to 50.1% in 2009 and among women it rose from 28.7% to 48% over the same period.

According to those responsible for the study, the increased incidence of overweight Brazilians has coincided with the growing trend of Brazilian families to replace traditional foods such as rice, beans and vegetables with soft drinks, cookies and fast food.

The researchers also warned that being overweight is associated with increased risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension, among other ills.

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