11 April 2020
"Obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, with at least 2.8 million people dying each year as a result of being overweight or obese. "
- World Health Organization
Worldwide obesity has nearly
tripled since 1975.
In 2017, more than 2.2 billion
adults, 18 years or older, were
overweight. Of these over 650 million have obesity.
Most of the world's population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.
More than 41 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2018.
39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2016, and 13% were living with obesity.
44% of the diabetes burden, 23% of the ischaemic heart disease burden, and between 7% to 41% of certain cancer burdens are attributable to overweight and obesity.
Obesity is preventable!
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What are obesity and overweight?
overweight is a BMI greater than or equal to 25; and
obesity is a BMI greater than or equal to 30.
Obesity facts and statistics
In 2017, more than 2.2 billion adults aged 18 years and older were overweight. Of these over 650 million adults have obesity.
In 2016, 39% of adults aged 18 years and over (39% of men and 40% of women) were overweight.
Overall, about 13% of the world’s adult population (11% of men and 15% of women) were obese in 2016.
The worldwide prevalence of obesity nearly tripled between 1975 and 2016.
What causes overweight and obesity?
an increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat and sugars; and
an increase in physical inactivity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanization.
What are common health consequences of overweight and obesity?
cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke), which were the leading cause of death in 2012;
musculoskeletal disorders (especially osteoarthritis – a highly disabling degenerative disease of the joints);
some cancers (including endometrial, breast, ovarian, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney, and colon).
Facing double burden of disease and malnutrition
While these countries continue to deal with the problems of infectious diseases and undernutrition, they are also experiencing a rapid upsurge in noncommunicable disease risk factors such as obesity and overweight, particularly in urban settings.
It is not uncommon to find undernutrition and obesity co-existing within the same country, the same community and the same household.
How can overweight and obesity be reduced?
limit energy intake from total fats and sugars;
increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts; and
engage in regular physical activity (60 minutes a day for children and 150 minutes spread through the week for adults).
reducing the fat, sugar and salt content of processed foods;
ensuring that healthy and nutritious choices are available and affordable to all consumers;
restricting marketing of foods high in sugars, salt and fats, especially those foods aimed at children and teenagers; and
ensuring the availability of healthy food choices and supporting regular physical activity practice in the workplace.
Obesity as a Disease
The American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a policy that recognized obesity as a chronic disease state. June 18, 2013 - the AMA House Delegates (HOD) voted on a resolution to adopt a new policy recognizing obesity as a “disease requiring a range of medical interventions to advance obesity treatment and prevention.”