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Factors Affecting Overweight/Obesity Prevalence


Popkin, Barry M.; Eberwein, Julia Dayton; & Okamura, Kyoko Shibata (2020). Factors Affecting Overweight/Obesity Prevalence.. Shekar, Meera & Popkin, Barry M. (Eds.) (pp. 95-108). Washington, D.C.: The World Bank.


Discusses the key factors affecting overweight/obesity globally such as urbanization affecting both diet and activity patterns. Globalization—particularly the free trade of services such as modern marketing trade in food products as well as methods of production and retailing—has proven a major global factor in speeding the growth of overweight/obesity. Country wealth, as seen in increased national income as well as increased household income, has proven linked to higher rates of overweight/obesity. Similarly, greater female labor force participation has played a critical role in the shift toward greater consumption of convenient, time-saving, ultra-processed food which proves highly obesogenic, making increased consumption of ultra-processed food one of the major global factors affecting overweight/obesity today. At the individual level, lifestyle changes and modern energy-saving technologies have significantly reduced physical activity and increased sedentary behavior.


Reference Type

Book Section

Year Published


Series Title

Human Development Perspectives Series


Popkin, Barry M.
Eberwein, Julia Dayton
Okamura, Kyoko Shibata