More and more people worldwide are overweight and obese

More and more people worldwide are overweight and obese


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There are more overweight people in the world than underweight people
Many people worldwide have problems with their weight. Today there are more overweight people than there are underweight people. The number of overweight and obese people has increased dramatically in the past forty years, medical experts found in a large study.

The number of overweight people around the world has increased dramatically in the past 40 years. Meanwhile, the number of people who are overweight exceeds the number of underweight people, researchers from Imperial College London found in a recent study. The scientists published the results of their study in "The Lancet".

Today, more than 641 million people have a BMI of 30 or more
Over the past 40 years, the number of people with obesity has increased dramatically. In 1975 there were over 105 million people with a BMI of 30 or higher. In 2014 the figure was 641 million. Today, one in ten men and one in seven women are obese, doctors say. The BMI calculates whether a person has a healthy body weight. A BMI value above 25 is considered overweight, from a value of 30 a person is obese, if the value is above 40, those affected are morbidly obese. The number of people worldwide whose weight poses a serious threat to their health is greater than ever, explains lead author Professor Majid Ezzati from Imperial College, London.

Both overweight and underweight are a big problem
This epidemic is too extensive to be tackled with medication. The creation of more cycle paths could not really solve the problem either. To make a real difference, global steps have to be taken, says Prof. Ezzati. These include the pricing of healthy foods and the taxation of foods that are high in sugar. But too low body weight remains a serious problem in the poorest regions of the world, the study authors explain. The global obesity trend should not overshadow the problem that many people around the world do not get enough to eat, the experts say. In South Asia, for example, almost a quarter of the population is underweight. In Central and East Africa, about twelve percent of women and 15 percent of men are underweight, doctors add.

Study examines nearly twenty million adults from 186 countries
The new study was supported by the World Health Organization, and more than 700 researchers worldwide participated in the study. These analyzed the data from almost twenty million adults from 186 countries. They found that the average male BMI has increased from 21.7 to 24.2 in the past four decades. In women, it increased from 22.1 to 24.4, the scientists say. The world population is about 1.5 kg heavier every decade. If this global trend continues, 18 percent of men and 21 percent of women will be obese by 2025, doctors warn.

American adults have the highest BMI in the world
The researchers also found that Japanese adults had the lowest BMI of all high-income countries, while American adults had the highest BMI. More overweight men and women live in China and the United States than in any other country in the world, the doctors report. Swiss women and Bosnian men had the lowest BMI in Europe. Morbid obesity affects around one percent of men and two percent of women worldwide, the researchers explain. A total of 55 million adults are morbidly obese. (as)

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