Obesity hits Third World, taking global toll to 300m

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The global obesity epidemic is out of control, with more than 300 million overweight adults worldwide, specialists told the first international obesity conference in Sun City, South Africa, which ended yesterday.

The global obesity epidemic is out of control, with more than 300 million overweight adults worldwide, specialists told the first international obesity conference in Sun City, South Africa, which ended yesterday.

The conference focused on the growing number of obese people across the developing world and stressed that many suffered from weight-related illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.

Professor Philip James, chairman of the International Obesity Task Force, said the chronic diseases linked to obesity could halt economic progress in many developing countries.

About 25 per cent of those living in the Middle East are obese, while obesity has doubled among Japanese men since 1982. Children across the world are also growing obese, with the fattest in the Middle East, Chile, Greece and southern Italy, the conference heard.

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