(AP) -- Brazilians are battling the bulge.
A government study says the South American country known for its bikinis is expanding at the waistline.
The Health Ministry notes that in 2009, 46.6 percent of Brazil's 190 million people were overweight. That's up from 42.7 percent in 2006.
The rate of obesity also rose, from 11.4 percent in 2006 to 13.9 percent in 2009.
The study released Monday is based on interviews with 54,000 adults. The result: 51 percent of men and 42.3 percent of women are overweight.
The study blamed poor eating habits, lack of exercise and genetics.
Brazil is still slim, however, compared to the United States, where a recent study showed 68 percent of the population was overweight.
Explore further: New questions over abortion coverage in health law