More Than One In Ten People On Earth Obese
More than one in 10 people around the globe are obese as more countries embrace "Western" lifestyles.
Three papers published in The Lancet show obesity levels have doubled in the last 30 years.
On the plus side, the studies also revealed the proportion of the world's population with high blood pressure fell over the same period.
In 2008, more than half a billion adults worldwide - 205 million men and 297 million women - were clinically obese.
This means they had a body mass index (BMI), measured by dividing a person's weight in kilogrammes by their height in metres squared, of 30 or above.
An estimated 9.8% of men and 13.8% of women on Earth were obese in 2008, compared with 4.8% of men and 7.9% of women in 1980.
Pacific island nations had the highest obesity rate, with average BMI levels reaching 34-35 - up to 70% higher than some countries in south-east Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
Americans have the highest BMI for both men and women in high income countries - being overweight is now the norm for the average American.
Britons had the sixth highest BMI for women and ninth for men in Europe.
Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: "There has been a striking escalation of obesity over the last 30 years.
"It's an ugly, upward trend but it can be reversed with effective policies and sensible lifestyle changes."