Experts believe obesity is a lifestyle choice. More from Karin Zeitvogel of the AFP:
"Obesity is a natural extension of an advancing economy. As you become a First World economy and you get all these labor-saving devices and low-cost, easily accessible foods, people are going to eat more and exercise less," health economist Eric Finkelstein told AFP.
In "The Fattening of America", published this month, Finkelstein says that adult obesity more than doubled in the United States between 1960 and 2004, rising from 13 percent to around 33 percent.
Globally, only Saudi Arabia fares worse than the United States in terms of the percentage of adults with a severe weight problem -- 35 percent of people in the oil-rich desert kingdom are classified as obese, the book says, citing data from the World Health Organization and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.