America no longer world’s fattest countryNews added by Benefits Pro on July 9, 2013

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By Kathryn Mayer

America has finally been outdone — but not by much.

According to a new report from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, Mexico is now the world’s fattest developed nation.

Nearly a third of Mexicans (32.8 percent) now are considered obese, due in part to the country’s rising income levels and rampant consumption, the report notes. Nearly 70 percent of Mexican adults are overweight, and childhood obesity in the country has tripled within the past decade.

The increase in obesity also disproportionately affects the country’s low-income residents, who are more likely to consume low-cost, but high-fat or high-sugar food items.

Still, the United States is not much better: It ranks No. 2 on the list, where 31.8 percent of American adults are considered obese.

Just last month, the American Medical Association classified obesity as a disease.

Someone with a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal weight, while someone with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight. A person with a BMI of 30 or above is considered obese.

Obesity has long plagued the United States, contributing to both rising health care woes and health care costs. Obesity remains a critical factor in diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

“Malnutrition in all its forms — undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and overweight and obesity — imposes high economic and social costs on countries at all income levels,” the U.N. report notes.

An estimated 1.4 billion people are overweight, of whom 500 million are obese, the U.N. said.

The thinnest developed country? That title belongs to Japan, where a slim 4.5 percent of Japanese adults are considered obese.

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