High rates of obesity and non-communicable diseases predicted across Latin America

PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e39589. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039589. Epub 2012 Aug 13.


Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular disease and stroke are a major public health concern across Latin America. A key modifiable risk factor for NCDs is overweight and obesity highlighting the need for policy to reduce prevalence rates and ameliorate rising levels of NCDs. A cross-sectional regression analysis was used to project BMI and related disease trends to 2050. We tested the extent to which interventions that decrease body mass index (BMI) have an effect upon the number of incidence cases avoided for each disease. Without intervention obesity trends will continue to rise across much of Latin America. Effective interventions are necessary if rates of obesity and related diseases are to be reduced.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Cost of Illness
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Latin America / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Obesity / economics
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Young Adult

Grant support

This research was funded by a non-discretionary educational grant from GlaxoSmithKline (number 27875780). The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.