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What America Can Teach the World About Defeating Obesity

Recent analysis by the Centers for Disease Control suggests America’s obesity epidemic may have peaked. From 2003 to 2012, overall obesity rates remained stable. Even better was a significant reduction in obesity for children between the ages of two and five. The rates dropped from 14 percent to 8 percent.

That’s good news for the U.S., but it should come as a relief to the developing world as well. Across Asia, Africa, and Latin America, countries are in the first stage of the nutrition transition, away from widespread malnourishment. Almost as rapidly, they are entering a second stage of the transition: toward a spiraling body mass. The evidence that this trend can be halted and reversed provides hope that the whole world can achieve a Goldilocks equilibrium: none hungry and few burdened by obesity.