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More Than Half of Humans to Be Overweight or Obese by 2035

More Than Half of Humans to Be Overweight or Obese by 2035
More Than Half of Humans to Be Overweight or Obese by 2035. Credit: Gilbert Mercier / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Governments have been alerted by the World Obesity Federation that if immediate actions are not taken, more than half of the global population will be at risk of being overweight or obese by 2035, as per a recent report.

Out of 183 countries studied, the 10 best-prepared countries are all wealthy European countries, with Switzerland, Norway, Finland, Iceland, and Sweden taking the lead.

New Study Finds Concerning Results

The study reveals that around 38% of the global population, or approximately 2.6 billion people, are already overweight or obese. The report projects that the number of people globally who are overweight or obese will exceed 4 billion, accounting for 51% of the world’s population by 2035, if the current pattern persists.

The report also highlights that unless restrictions on promoting unhealthy foods are implemented widely, the percentage of clinically obese people will rise from one in seven to one in four by 2035.

The report further highlights that the number of children and young people with obesity is on course to increase faster than among adults. By 2035, obesity among children is expected to at least double the rate seen in 2020.

Boys under 18 are expected to be affected by 100%, leaving 208 million affected, while girls of the same age group are likely to be affected by 125%, leading to 175 million affected.

According to Prof Louise Baur, the president of the World Obesity Federation, the findings were “a clear warning that by failing to address obesity today, we risk serious repercussions in the future.”

She further said, “It is particularly worrying to see obesity rates rising fastest among children and adolescents.”

Actions to Address the Health Concerns

The World Obesity Federation has urged nations across the globe to take concerted and ambitious action to address the rising health and economic crisis posed by obesity.

To address rising obesity, governments must use tax systems, restrictions on marketing foods high in fat, salt, or sugar, front-of-pack labels, and providing healthy food in schools.

According to the report, low- or middle-income nations in Africa and Asia, which are also some of the world’s poorest countries, are facing the steepest increases in obesity and are the least equipped to deal with this health issue.

In fact, nine out of the ten countries expected to have the highest increases in obesity rates in the coming years fall under this category.

According to the report, the global cost of obesity is rocketed from $1.96tr in 2019 to $4.32tr by 2035, equivalent to 3% of global GDP. This sum is comparable to the economic damage caused by Covid-19.

The increasing rates of obesity worldwide are attributed to significant factors, including but not limited to the climate emergency, Covid-related restrictions, exposure to chemical pollutants, unhealthy food composition and promotion, and the food industry’s practices.

The federation suggests that if governments fail to take action against obesity, we risk serious repercussions in the future.

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