Weight Increases Worldwide?

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Science  29 May 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5368, pp. 1368
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5368.1368

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By now, it's well established that U.S. obesity rates are reaching epidemic proportions (see main text). For the rest of the world, the data are spotty at best. But because hints of the same trend show up worldwide, the World Health Organization and the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) have declared a global obesity epidemic. As the IOTF puts it, obesity, which increases the risk of developing such potentially fatal conditions as diabetes and heart disease, "poses one of the greatest threats to human health and well-being as the 21st century approaches."