Only 1 percent of Vietnamese adults are overweight or obese.
A study unveiled on Monday has found that more than one in 10 people worldwide are now obese and 2.2 billion are believed to be overweight, fueling a global health crisis that claims millions of lives every year.
The lowest rates of adult obesity were in Bangladesh and Vietnam, both at 1 percent.
Vietnam had a total of 8.1 million overweight or obese adults, of which 46 percent were male, according to the data collected by the study.
The U.S. and China had the greatest number of obese adults, 79.4 and 57.3 million respectively.
Middle-income countries, namely China, and Indonesia face the most worrisome issue when the number of obese youth and young adults has tripled over the past years.
The obesity rate in children remained lower than among adults, it had grown at a faster rate during the study period, a finding experts described as especially “worrisome.”
The rate of Vietnamese children aged 2 to 19 with obesity stood at 6.8 percent, while the figure was 28.5 percent in the U.S. and 25 percent in Australia.
Conducted in 195 countries over a 35-year period, the research presented at a conference in Stockholm on Monday is billed as the most comprehensive carried out to date on the subject of obesity.
At the conclusion of the study in 2015, 107.7 million children and 603.7 million adults worldwide were deemed to be obese, triggering what its authors described as “a growing and disturbing global public health crisis.”
“Excess body weight is one of the most challenging public health problems of our time, affecting nearly one in every three people,” said Dr. Ashkan Afshin, the paper’s lead author and an assistant professor of global health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington in Seattle.
“Over the past decade, numerous interventions have been evaluated, but very little evidence exists about their long-term effectiveness,” he added, announcing a new 10-year partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization to evaluate global progress in controlling excess weight.
The World Health Organization had estimated the number of overweight people at 1.9 billion in 2014, including more than 600 million who were obese.
Excess weight is linked to sharply increased rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some types of cancer.
Four million deaths in 2015 were linked to having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 24.5, indicating a person is overweight, or of 30 or more, indicating obesity. BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by their height in centimeters squared.
Of those deaths, more than 40 percent involved people deemed non-obese, indicating that being overweight, even without being obese, is leading to millions of premature deaths.
More than two-thirds of deaths linked to a raised BMI were attributed to cardiovascular diseases, marking a sharp increase since 1990.