The increase in the prevalence of obesity worldwide reflects, in part, economic development. The prevalence ranges from approximately 2% in the least developed countries to over 30% in the most developed countries. In developed countries, however, lower socioeconomic status is associated with an increased risk. Proposed reasons for this observed difference include reduced access to medical care, healthy foods, and exercise facilities among lower socioeconomic groups. Furthermore, foods that are more energy dense (through the addition of added sugar) are less costly than nutrient-dense foods (Thompson et al., 2009).
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