World’s obese population: 641 million of us are fat and that’s worrying
According to an analysis of global trends in body mass index (BMI), more than 640 million people world over are obese and number of overweight people is much more than the underweight. A startling increase in rates of obesity in the past 40 years means the number of people with a BMI of more than 30 has risen from 105 million in 1975 to 641 million in 2014, the study found. More than one in 10 men and one in seven women are obese.
BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by their height in metres squared, and is an indication of whether a person is a healthy weight. A BMI score over 25 is overweight, over 30 is obese and over 40 is morbidly obese.
“The number of people across the globe whose weight poses a serious threat to their health is greater than ever before,” said Majid Ezzati, a professor at the school of public health at Imperial College London.
“And this epidemic of severe obesity is too extensive to be tackled with medications such as blood pressure lowering drugs or diabetes treatments alone, or with a few extra bike lanes.” To try to make a real difference, Ezzati said coordinated global steps were needed, including addressing the pricing of healthy foods versus unhealthy foods, or taxing high sugar and highly processed foods.
Yet excessively low body weight remains a serious public health issue in the world’s poorest regions, the study’s authors said, and rising global trends in obesity should not overshadow the problem of many people not getting enough to eat. In South Asia, for example, almost a quarter of the population is underweight. In Central and East Africa, about 12 percent of women and 15 percent of men are underweight.
The study, published on Thursday in The Lancet medical journal, involved the World Health Organization and more then 700 researchers worldwide. It analysed data on weight and height from nearly 20 million adults from 186 countries.
It found that over the past four decades, the average age-corrected male BMI rose to 24.2 from 21.7, and in women rose to 24.4 from 22.1. This is equivalent to the world’s population becoming on average 1.5 kg heavier each decade, the researchers said.
They predicted that if these global trends continue, 18 percent of men and 21 percent of women will be obese by 2025.
Other key findings of the study were that:
1. Japanese adults had the lowest BMIs of all high-income countries, while American adults had the highest BMIs.
2. More obese men and women now live in China and the United States than in any other country.
3. The lowest BMIs in Europe were among Swiss women and Bosnian men. Men in Britain had the 10th highest BMI in Europe and women the 3rd highest in Europe.
4. Morbid obesity, where a person’s weight interferes with basic physical functions such as breathing and walking, now affects around 1 percent of men and 2 percent of women. In total, 55 million adults are morbidly obese.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- Every week, fitness enthusiast Malaika Arora shares a new Yoga asana with her followers and urges them to exercise. However, this week, in order to celebrate International Women's Day she posted a picture of herself nailing the Reverse Warrior Pose and asked women to flaunt their warrior side.
- Disha Patani is known for her extreme workout sessions. The Bharat actor took to Instagram on International Women's Day and shared a glimpse from her martial arts session to show how strong she is.
- American actor and The Twilght Saga’s Rosalie Hale aka Nikki Reed flaunts her acro sport skills in latest fitness post as hubby and Vampire Diaries star Ian Somerhalder captures her in the middle of the jaw-dropping exercise move. Here’s why you should give Acro Yoga workout a try too
- Ishaan Khatter raises the bar of fitness motivation as we enter a new week and we are too inspired to follow his version of ‘when someone says let’s meet at the bar’. Here’s why
- Vicky Kaushal recently shared a glimpse of himself sweating it hard in the gym in order to earn his weekend cheat meal. We can say that the clip is inspiring us to start our Sunday with a fitness session as well.