Two Billion Worldwide Are Obese or Overweight
Study shows it’s not only an American problem but an international health crisis
In a sign that the obesity epidemic has become more than just an American problem, a new study shows that two billion of the world’s population is obese or overweight.
Meanwhile, a growing number of people are dying from weight-related health issues even though they aren’t technically considered obese.
“Excess body fat is among the most challenging public health issues of our time, affecting almost one in every three people,” said study author Ashkan Afshin. He is an assistant professor of international health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Analysis at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Of the 4 million deaths attributed to weight in 2015, 40 percent involved individuals whose body mass index (BMI — an estimate of body fat based on weight and height) was lower than the threshold considered obese.
The analysis, based on data from 195 countries, indicates there is”an increasing and disturbing global public health crisis” due to overweight and obesity, the study authors stated.
“Individuals who shrug off weight gain do so at their own risk — the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and other life-threatening conditions,” said study co-author Dr Christopher Murray, director of the institute.
“Those half-serious New Year’s resolutions to lose weight should become year-round commitments to eliminate weight and prevent future weight gain,” Murray added in an institute news release.
The 2.2 billion overweight and obese individuals in 2015 included almost 108 million children and over 600 million adults who were obese. Obesity rates have doubled in over 70 countries since 1980, and have continuously increased in most other countries, the study authors stated.
The obesity rate among children is lower than among adults, but the rate of growth in childhood obesity in many countries is greater than that of adults, the researchers said.
One of the 20 most populated nations, the maximum level of obesity among children and young adults was in america, at nearly 13 percent. Egypt had the greatest adult obesity rate, at about 35 percent. The lowest adult obesity rates were in Bangladesh and Vietnam, at 1 percent.
China (15.3 million) and India (14.4 million) had the greatest numbers of obese children. The United States (79.4 million) and China (57.3 million) had the highest numbers of obese adults in 2015.
The findings were published June 12 in the New England Journal of Medicine.