Nature 569, 260–264 (2019)

A worldwide group of researchers known as the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration analyzed height and weight data from more than 2,000 population-based studies—encompassing 112 million adults from 1985 to 2017—to identify changes in body mass index (BMI) over this time. They found that more than 55% of the worldwide rise in mean BMI during this period could be accounted for by increases in BMI in individuals in rural areas. In some low- and middle-income countries, this contribution was more than 80%.

These results suggest that a change in approach to rural nutrition is needed.