There are now almost one billion obese adults in the developing world. This figure was around 250 million in 1980. The number of very overweight people has almost quadrupled in the last 35 years. A report from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) said one in three people is overweight. The institute wants all world governments to do more to change what people eat. The biggest reasons that people are fatter are that they have more money and they are spending it on fast food. Fewer people are eating traditional, healthier food. Steve Wiggins from the ODI said: "Changes in lifestyle, the increasing availability of processed foods, and advertising have all led to dietary changes.”
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It's not all bad news. Two countries (Denmark and South Korea) have done very well in the past few decades to deal with the obesity problem. Denmark introduced laws against trans-fatty acids. Restaurants and food producers must be very careful about the kind of fats they use to cook their food. South Korea started a public education programme 20 years ago. It warned people about the problems of obesity. Mr Wiggins said: "A few decades ago the government of Korea said we must encourage our traditional foods, which are low in fats and oils, high in vegetables, high in sea food and so on. There was a lot of public education, a lot of training, and a sense that Korean food is good for you."