A Majority of American and British Girls Are Considered ‘Overfat’

Marie Claire Dorking
British and American girls have dangerous levels of stomach fat. (Photo: iStock)

Some concerning new research has revealed that girls in Britain and the U.S., more than anywhere else in the world, carry a dangerous amount of stomach fat.

The study, led by Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, revealed that more than half of girls in both countries have a stomach fat level that increases their risk of ailments like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

According to the study, which ranks countries by weight, the girls are considered “overfat,” meaning they carry too much body fat and that their waist measurement is more than half their height.

But girls aren’t the only ones at risk: Nearly half of boys are also considered to be carrying too much fat, the study found, and more than eight in 10 British adults also fall into the overfat category.

Collaborating with researchers in San Diego, the team previously reported in the journal Frontiers of Public Health that up to 76 percent of the world’s population may be overfat.

But now the same researchers have focused their efforts on data from 30 of the top developed countries, with even more worrying findings that up to 90 percent of adult males and 50 percent of children may be considered overfat. They also found that, in the top overfat countries, 80 percent of women fall into this category.

“The prevalence of overfat populations in 30 of the world’s most developed countries is substantially higher than recent global estimations, with the largest growth due to a relatively recent increased number of people with excess abdominal fat,” noted professor Paul Laursen, of Auckland University of Technology, who led the study. “Abdominal overfat is the most unhealthy form of this condition, so it is concerning that average waist circumference measures, generally indicative of abdominal overfat, have increased.”

He added, “Despite a leveling-off appearance of being overweight and/or obese in some developed countries, the overfat pandemic continues to grow.”

The U.K. has one of the highest levels of people considered “overfat.” (Photo: Pixabay via Pexels)

Researchers said that the traditional ways of assessing weight-related issues, such as stepping on a scale or calculating body mass index (BMI) aren’t effective when determining whether someone is overfat.

Instead, they recommend measuring your waistline at the belly button and comparing it with your height. The waist measure should be less than half your height.

“Regardless of BMI values, overfat individuals have excess body fat, a high degree of cardiometabolic dysregulation that can promote disease risk factors and chronic disease, increased morbidity and mortality, reduced quality of life, and pose a rising economic burden,” Laursen continued.

Researchers are calling for governments across the world to address the issue, stating, “As an unfulfilled public health action, it is crucial to clinically identify individuals who are overfat in order to implement successful treatment and prevention strategies.”

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