A new report by the World Obesity Federation predicts that 51% of the global population, or 4 billion people, will be overweight within the next 12 years.
The report, published on March 2, shows that obesity rates are increasing especially rapidly in children and in low-income countries. According to Louise Baur, President of the World Obesity Federation, this number is an warning bell for countries. Policymakers need to take concrete, quick action to prevent the situation from getting worse.
“It is worrisome to see the fastest growing rates of obesity among children and young people. Governments need to do all they can to reduce the health expense and social and economic impact in the young generation,” she said.
This report shows that childhood obesity could double from 2020, to 208 million boys and 175 million girls by 2035. The social costs will be higher due to overweight-related health conditions. The world is expected to pay $4 trillion annually from 2035 to address the consequences, equivalent to 3% of global GDP.
However, the report’s author said the blame should not be placed on individuals. Instead, countries should focus on social, environmental and biological factors related to people’s development conditions.
This report uses body mass index (BMI) to assess human obesity. BMI is calculated by dividing your weight by the square of your height. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, a BMI above 25 is overweight, and over 30 is obese.
In 2020, 2.6 billion people fall into this group, equivalent to 38% of the world’s population.
This report also found that most of the countries that will see the most severe obesity in the coming years are among low-income or middle-income groups in Asia and Africa.
According to WHO, the underlying cause of obesity and overweight is an energy imbalance, between calories consumed and expended. In many countries, people have the habit of eating foods rich in energy, high in sugar, living a sedentary lifestyle due to the nature of work, changing modes of transportation and increasing urbanization.
Leave a Reply