In 2020, nearly 29% of Brazilians over the age of 20 were obese, up from about 15% in 2000, one of the largest increases of any country during that time, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. from the University of Washington. Of the 10 most populous countries, only Mexico, the United States and Russia had higher obesity rates, ranging from 31% to 37%, the data showed.
Dr Claudia Cozer Kalil, an endocrinologist at one of Brazil’s top hospitals in São Paulo, attributed skyrocketing obesity in part to rising wages that led to poor diets of fast food and processed foods. As obesity has increased, she said, so have related health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea. She said the government should do more to address the problem, including better food labeling. In Brazil, for example, nutrition labels often do not include sugar.
Yet she supported the laws. “The thing is, the population is heavier,” she said. “So we have to adapt to that.”
The debate over “gordophobia” in Brazil partly revolves around the unrealistic image of the Brazilian body in the media inside and outside the country. The psychological impact of this image, activists said, can be illustrated by efforts by Brazilians to pump up their labia, breasts, buttocks and muscles – and surgically suck out their fat – at a rate far greater than that of the most other countries.
In 2019, Brazil was the world leader in plastic surgeries. In 2020, amid the pandemic, there were 6.1 plastic surgeries per 1,000 people, compared to 4.5 per 1,000 people in the United States, the world leader in total plastic surgeries that year. according to the statistics of a global commercial group of plastic surgeons. A risky surgery which involves transferring fat from the abdomen to the buttocks is even called the Brazilian buttock lift.