Overweight is an important risk factor for noncommunicable diseases in general and diabetes in particular. There is presently a global epidemic of overweight. A recent large study found a 5.6% growth in obesity in the United States in 2001, and a massive 74% increase since 1991. Twenty one percent of American adults are obese. The prevalence of diabetes, which correlates with obesity has risen 61% in the US since 1990. Diabetes rose 8% over 2000-01 to nearly 8% of the population. The situation is not much better in many developing countries. Surveys from 38 countries found that levels of overweight and obesity in women in the Middle East and North Africa exceed those of the USA. In Eastern Europe and Latin America numbers are almost the same as in the USA.
Risk factors, South Africa.