A study released Monday (Apr. 17) by the Ministry of Health found that overweight in Brazil grew 26.3 over the last ten years, going from 42.6% in 2006 to 53.8% in 2016.
According to the survey, entitled VIGITEL (an acronym meaning "Surveillance on Risk Factors and Protection against Chronic Diseases through Phone Inquiries," in an English translation), the problem is more common among men—the rate escalated from 47.5% to 57.7% in the period. As for women, the proportion climbed from 38.5% to 50.5%.
According to the figures, Rio Branco, in the northern state of Acre, is the Brazilian capital with the highest overweight rate—60.6 cases for every 100 thousand inhabitants—followed by Campo Grande (58/100 thousand inhabitants), Recife, João Pessoa and Natal (56.6/100 thousand inhabitants), and Fortaleza (56.100 thousand inhabitants). Palmas, in turn, is the capital with the lowest prevalence of overweight (47.7/100 thousand inhabitants).
The study further reveals that the overweight indicator increases with age and is highest among those with lower education in Brazil. Among Brazilians aged 18 to 24, for instance, the index stands at 30.3%. As for Brazilians 35 to 44 years old, the rate totals 61.1%, and, among those at 55 to 64 years of age, the number reaches 62.4%. As for the population aged 65 or older, the index adds up to 57.7%.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira