New research from the New England Journal of Medicine finds that one third of the world is overweight and more than 10 percent is clinically obese. The United States is leading the way, with the greatest percentage of obese children and young adults.

The study, which looked at 195 countries and some 1,800 data sets from around the world, showed a drastic increase in obesity for children in the United States since 1980, from 5 to 12.5 percent.

Across the globe, nobody seems to be losing weight, and obesity rates among children are rising faster than among adults.

With a steadily increasing childhood obesity rate in the U.S., does this mean recent efforts like former First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign were all for nothing?

“There has been some effort to push back on the expanding waistline,” medical ethicist Art Caplan said on Boston Public Radio. “On the other hand … we still have a huge problem in that there’s too much advertising of bad, crummy, empty-calorie food to kids, and it works.”

The study defined “obesity” as a body mass index of 30 or higher and “overweight” as a B.M.I from 25-29.

“Part of the issue is how you define obesity, how you define what is too much weight,” Caplain said. “The general idea is … the correlation between weight, height and death rates.”

According to Caplan, in America, generally speaking, it’s as simple as diet and exercise. “It’s still the case that people are sitting around playing video games, and there are a lot of folks welded into their iPhone and iPad and other technologies that don’t make them move very much,” he said. “I don’t know that we’re out of the woods.”

Medical ethicist Art Caplan is Head of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center and the co-host of the Everyday Ethics podcast. To hear more of his interview with BPR, click on the audio player above.