Recent studies have shown that there are more adults in the world classified as obese than underweight.
Led by scientists from Imperial College London and involving the World Health Organization (WHO) and over 700 researchers across the globe, the latest major study done compared body mass index (BMI) among almost 20 million adult men and women in 186 countries and found that obesity in men has tripled and more than doubled in women. This equates to 266 million obese men and 375 million obese women in the world in 2014, the study said.
The research also predicted that the probability of reaching the World Health Organization’s global obesity target – which aims for no rise in obesity above 2010 levels by 2025 – would be “close to zero.”
The results from the largest ever obesity study were published in The Lancet and also found that the number of obese people worldwide had risen from 105 million in 1975 to 641 million in 2014. The findings revealed that the world has moved from “an era when underweight prevalence was more than double that of obesity, to one in which more people are obese than underweight.”
Six nations — Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and the U.S. — recorded dramatic upticks in obesity levels during the past 40 years, with the number of obese people in the world increasing from 105 million in 1975 to 641 million in 2014.
Lead author Prof Majid Ezzat said it was an “epidemic of severe obesity” and urged governments to act.