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One in four people will be obese by 2035

According to a report, 24% of the world's population will suffer from obesity, while more than half (51%) will be overweight.

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More than half of the world's population will be overweight within 12 years. According to the World Obesity Atlas 2023 report by the World Obesity Federation, 51% of people will qualify as overweight, that is, 4 billion humans. In addition, nearly one in four citizens (24%) will be obese. This is causing immense concern in the international community.

These data reflect the alarming growth that will occur in little more than a decade. In 2020, the World Obesity Federation estimated that 38% of the world's population was overweight and 14% were obese.

The World Health Organization (WHO) distinguishes between overweight and obesity by body mass index (BMI). A person is considered overweight when his or her BMI is equal to or greater than 25, while obesity occurs with a BMI greater than 30. This is calculated by dividing the person's weight by their height squared.

The World Obesity Atlas 2023 data on obesity in children is also frightening. The number of obese children is expected to reach 208 million within 12 years, double that of 2020. On the other hand, the increase among girls is projected to be higher, reaching 175 million, which is 125% more than three years ago.

World Obesity Atlas 2023 Re... by VozMedia

The problem must be tackled urgently

In the face of the staggering figures, Professor Louise Baur, president of the World Obesity Federation, called for swift action to tackle the obesity problem as soon as possible:

This year's Atlas is a clear warning that by failing to address obesity today, we risk serious repercussions in the future. It is particularly worrying to see obesity rates rising fastest among children and adolescents. 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. That means looking urgently at the systems and root factors that contribute to obesity, and actively involving young people in the solutions. If we act together now, we have the opportunity to help billions of people in the future.

Specialists attribute obesity to two factors: sedentary lifestyles and nutrition. They recommend an average of 150 minutes of physical activity per week, in addition to avoiding a diet based on processed foods and the overconsumption of fats.

Low income countries will experience a greater increase in the obesity rate

Initially, the increase in obesity was associated with higher income countries. This situation is now reversing, as the number of obese and overweight people is increasing faster in lower income countries. These nations have more difficulty in responding effectively to the problem. Rachel Jackson-Leach, chief scientific officer of the World Obesity Federation, noted:

If we do not act now, we are on course to see significant increases in obesity prevalence over the next decade. The greatest increases will be seen in low and lower-middle income countries, where scarce resources and lack of preparedness will create a perfect storm that will negatively impact people living with obesity the most.