Global crisis looms as over half the world’s population on course to be overweight by 2035
More than half of the world’s population will be overweight or obese by 2035 if significant action is not taken, according to a new report.
The World Obesity Federation’s 2023 Atlas predicts that 51 percent of the world’s population, or more than four billion people, will be obese or overweight in the next 12 years.
According to the report, obesity is increasing particularly rapidly among children and in countries with lower incomes. Louise Baur, president of the World Obesity Federation
, described the data as a “clear warning” and said policymakers must act now to prevent the situation from getting worse.
“It is particularly worrying to see that obesity is increasing more rapidly among children and young people,” he said in a statement.
Governments and policy makers around the world must do everything possible to avoid passing on the health, social and economic costs to younger generations.
According to the report, childhood obesity could more than double from 2020 levels to 208 million boys and 175 million girls by 2035.
According to society, the health problems associated with excess weight have high costs for society. Specifically, by 2035, it will be more than trillion dollars (3.77 trillion euros) per year, or 3 percent of the world’s gross domestic product.
The authors said they did not blame individuals, but called for a focus on the social, environmental and biological factors involved.
When evaluating the report, the body mass index (BMI) is used, which is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters. According to the World Health Organization guidelines, a BMI value of more than 25 is overweight and more than 30 is obese.
In 2020, 2.6 billion people, or 38 percent of the world’s population, fell into these categories.
The report also found that almost all the countries where obesity will increase the most in the coming years are low- and middle-income countries in Asia and Africa.
The information will be presented to UN decision makers and member states next week.