The obesity and diabetes epidemic is spreading to parts of the world where historically the problem has been less pronounced, a new study finds, and it is linked to increased TV, car and computer ownership.
The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, looked at obesity and Type 2 diabetes in households in "low income" countries, like Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Pakistan and India; "middle income" countries, like Argentina and China; and "high income" countries, like Canada and Sweden. Participants were asked if they owned a car, a TV or a computer. They were also asked about their diets and level of physical activity, and their measurements and weight were recorded. More than 100,000 households participated.
} What the study found was that as households in the lower income countries added televisions, cars and other modern conveniences, obesity rates more than quadrupled, and rates of Type 2 diabetes more than doubled. In the higher income countries, the difference was only marginal, presumably, the researchers said, because the negative impact from the modern day devices had already occurred.