According to a global study, nearly 4 billion people will be overweight or obese within the next 12 years if prevention, treatment, and support do not improve. If the current trend continues, one in four people, or over 1.5 billion adults and nearly 400 million children, will be obese by 2035, according to the International Obesity Federation’s Global Obesity Atlas 2023.
The prevalence of childhood obesity is projected to increase more rapidly among children than among adults, doubling among boys to 208 million (an increase of 100%). The spike may be even more dramatic among girls, whose rates have more than doubled to 175 million (a 125% increase).
Obesity is characterized by an excessive buildup of body fat and is a significant chronic illness related with type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, numerous malignancies, and an increased risk of death. Body mass index is one of the most used methods for determining if a person is obese (BMI). Overweight individuals have a BMI between 25 and 29.9, while obese individuals have a BMI of 30 or more.
The analysis projects that the worldwide economic burden of overweight and obesity will reach $4.32 trillion, or over 3% of global GDP, which is equivalent to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, the authors of the paper underline that evaluating economic effect “in no way reflects blame on persons living with obesity.”
“Governments and policymakers across the globe must do all possible to prevent passing on health, social, and economic costs to the next generation. This requires an immediate examination of the systems and underlying problems that contribute to obesity, as well as the active participation of youth in the solution process. We have the ability to help billions of people in the future if we act together today, “Professor Louise Baur, president of the Global Obesity Federation, states the following.
Obesity is often regarded as an issue in high-income countries, but the analysis finds that the rates are rising more rapidly in low- and lower-middle-income nations, which are “the least prepared to respond to obesity and its implications.”
The study estimates that by 2035, almost 58 million Americans will be obese, compared to 41.9% in 2020, with the economic effect of overweight and obesity growing to 4% of the national GDP. In spite of this, the United States ranks 41 out of 183 on the global preparation index, which is considered “pretty excellent.”