Saturday, February 24, 2024

More than half of the world is set to become overweight or obese by 2035: Report

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A new report by the World Obesity Federation predicts that 51 per cent of the world, which would amount to more than four billion people, will be obese or overweight in the 12 years if no significant action is taken by governments to curb the growing epidemic. The report also found that the rates of obesity are increasing fastest among children and lower-income countries. 

Currently, at least 38 per cent or 2.6 billion of the world’s population is already overweight or obese, said the report. It also highlights the rate of obesity among children and teenagers is expected to double from 2020 among both girls as well as boys. The report found that childhood obesity would affect 208 million boys and 175 million girls in the next 12 years. 

After the findings of the report were released, the President of the World Obesity Federation Louise Baur said that the trend was “particularly worrying”, in reference to the high rates of obesity among children and teenagers. He also called the data a “clear warning” and said “governments and policymakers around the world need to do all they can to avoid passing health, social, and economic costs on to the younger generation” by assessing the root causes and factors that contribute to obesity.

Nine of out the 10 countries which are expected to witness an increase in obesity are low or lower-middle-income states in Africa and Asia, said the report. It added that such countries are “often the least able to respond to obesity and its consequences”. Notably, the economic cost linked to being overweight is more than $4 trillion every year by 2035 or three per cent of the global GDP. 

It also emphasised and acknowledged the economic impact of obesity “is in no way a reflection of blame on people living with obesity” rather the authors have called for a focus on societal, environmental and biological factors which contribute to the condition. The report also uses Body Mass Index (BMI) for its assessments in line with World Health Organization’s guidelines. A BMI score over 25 is considered overweight while over 30 is obese. The report will be presented to the UN on Monday (March 6). 

(With inputs from agencies) 


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