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Revisiting the Global Overfat Pandemic

Authors
  • Maffetone, Philip B.1
  • Laursen, Paul B.2
  • 1 Independent Researcher, Ormond Beach, FL , (United States)
  • 2 Auckland University of Technology, Auckland , (New Zealand)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Frontiers in Public Health
Publisher
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Feb 25, 2020
Volume
8
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2020.00051
PMID: 32158742
PMCID: PMC7052125
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

The previously described overfat pandemic, estimated to be 62–76% worldwide, is comprised of individuals with excess body fat sufficient to impair health. The overfat condition is common in those who are overweight and obese, and can also occur in significant numbers of normal-weight non-obese individuals. Being overfat increases the risk for a wide spectrum of common cardiovascular and metabolic (cardiometabolic) abnormalities, chronic diseases and physical impairment. In some ethnicities, up to 40% or more of those who are normal-weight and non-obese may be overfat, a figure twice that used in the original global overfat estimates. In addition to the rates of overfat outpacing overweight and obesity, non-White populations outnumber Whites 6:1, with the recently estimated overfat prevalence being low when considering ethnicities such as Asians, Chinese, Africans and Latin Americans, including these individuals living among predominantly White populations. An awareness of the extent of the overfat pandemic is important because excess body fat can precede cardiometabolic risk factors, chronic diseases, and physical disabilities, and can reduce quality of life and increase healthcare expenditure. The purpose of this Perspective is to demonstrate that the global overfat prevalence of 62–76% may be considerably underestimated.

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