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2.2 billion people — one-third of the world's population — are obese or overweight, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The study, which used data from the most recent Global Burden of Disease study, spanned 35 years and 195 countries, providing a new level of granularity concerning the world's biggest public health crisis:

Key takeaways:

  • Look up: Our visualization of the study's data shows the change in obesity rates for adults from 1980 to 2015, broken down by sociodemographics, and the takeaway is clear: except for a few outliers, the proportion of populations that are obese or overweight is increasing — especially in more developed countries.
  • The visible trend: As the level of a country's development increased so did the prevalence of obesity in men but for women, there was a larger increase in countries with a lower sociodemographic index.
  • Another big thing: The study showed that while fewer children are obese as a percentage of the population (5%) compared to adults (12%), the rates of childhood obesity are increasing much more rapidly in many places, presenting a health risk for the future.
  • Possible causes: Increased accessibility to energy-dense foods and a marked global increase in urbanization that can reduce chances for physical activity, though the authors note a shift to urban-living happened before the global increase in obesity.
  • The impact: The study looked at the effects of high body mass index and its myriad physical impacts over 25 years, finding that 7.1% of deaths worldwide in 2015 could be directly attributed to excess weight. That rate jumped 28.3% from 1990 to 2015. Unsurprisingly, it also contributed to a massive spike in years of life lost to disability and related diseases.
  • Worth considering: Nearly 40% of the 4 million deaths in 2015 linked to excess body weight occurred among people who weren't yet classified as obese, showing that simply being overweight can be a serious health risk.

Go deeper

Scoop: Border officials project 13,000 child migrants in May

The "El Chaparral" border crossing at Tijuana. Photo: Stringer/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

A Customs and Border Protection staffer told top administration officials Thursday the agency is projecting a peak of 13,000 unaccompanied children crossing the border in May, sources directly familiar with the discussion told Axios.

Why it matters: That projection would exceed the height of the 2019 crisis, which led to the infamous "kids-in-cages" disaster. It also underscores a rapidly escalating crisis for the Biden administration.

6 hours ago - World

U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia facilities in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.

Senate parliamentarian rules $15 minimum wage cannot be included in relief package

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that the provision to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour cannot be included in the broader $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: It's now very likely that any increase in the minimum wage will need bipartisan support, as the provision cannot be passed with the simple Senate majority that Democrats are aiming to use for President Biden's rescue bill.