Should the world go on a diet in 2014?

There has been a dramatic increase in the numbers of overweight or obese people in the past 30 years. Previously considered a problem in richer countries, the biggest rises are in middle income countries and the developing world.

Future Diets‘ traces how the changes in diet – more fat, more meat, more sugar and bigger portions – have led to a looming health crisis.  It also looks at how policy-makers have tried to curb our eating excesses – with mixed results.

One in three adults in the world (1.46 billion) were overweight or obese in 2008, up by 23% since 1980

More adults were overweight or obese in developing countries than in rich countries in 2008

North Africa and the Middle East, and Latin America now have almost the same percentage of overweight or obese people as Europe

In the developing world, the number of overweight or obese adults more than tripled from 250 m. in 1980 to 904 m. in 2008