The Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development has called for emerging market governments to act against rising obesity levels to avoid rivalling rates in the West. 

The Paris-based think-tank has released analysis in the medical journal The Lancet that claims obesity levels in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia and South Africa are rising. 

It says: “Unhealthy diets and physical inactivity are pushing obesity rates rapidly toward those seen in [developed world] countries, where half of the population is already overweight and one in six people is considered obese.”

The report stresses seven in 10 adults from Mexico are overweight or obese, and nearly half of all Brazilians, Russians and South Africans. China (at 29%) and India (at 16%) have less obesity, although the report added that these countries are “rapidly moving in the wrong direction”.