UNC Study: More People Turning Into Couch Potatoes

Jun 15, 2012

New research from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill finds physical fitness around the globe is plummetting.

Asma Khalid: Sure, we may already know a lot of us Americans are overweight. But, the problems aren't limited to our borders. This study finds a growing number of people in the U.K., Brazil, India and China are less active than a generation ago.  Barry Popkin is a nutrition professor at UNC and a co-author of the report.

Barry Popkin: What shocked me is China and Brazil. By the year 2030, they will have reached a level, where their activity profile is not so different than where America is today or 10 years, meaning that they are moving in the same direction.

The study suggests that as rural societies modernize, their people become more sedentary, thanks to amenities like TV's dishwashers, and computers.