Study Claims More People Are Now Obese Than Underweight

Posted: Apr 2 2016, 5:57am CDT | by , Updated: Apr 2 2016, 10:48am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

More People are Now Obese than Underweight: Says Study
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If the trend continues, one in five adults could be obese by 2025.

Obesity is a serious issue worldwide and the problem is going from bad to worse with each passing year.

For the first time in history, the number of obese people around the world is greater than the number of underweight and if the trend continues, one in five adults could be obese by 2025, according to a latest study published in Lancet.

In the past four decades, the obesity rate has tripled among men and doubled among women and odds are very high that the numbers will continue to rise in the years to come.

For the study, researchers looked at the surveys, previous studies and reports related to body mass index in almost 200 countries and found stunning changes in obesity ration in the last 40 years from 1975 to 2014.

The study finds that overall BMI for both men and women has skyrocketed over the years. In 1975, men on average were found to have a BMI of 21.7 and women had a 22.1 BMI, which has increased 24.2 for men and 24.4 for women. That means that the average person put on about 3.3 pounds each decade.

BMI below 18.5 is considered underweight. Over 25 is overweight while 30 or higher is obese.

“If present trends continue, not only will the world not meet the obesity target of halting the rise in the prevalence of obesity at its 2010 level by 2025, but more women will be severely obese than underweight,” said professor Majid Ezzati from Imperial College London.

The highest average obesity rates were found in Middle Eastern and North African countries. In some European and Asian countries including Singapore, Japan, Belgium, France and Switzerland BMI has stalled while the lowest BMI was found in Timor-Leste, Ethiopia and Eritrea.

The United States and a handful of wealthy countries such as Australia, Canada, Ireland and Britain account for a fifth of the world’s obese people.

Ezzati says.“To avoid an epidemic of severe obesity, new policies that can slow down and stop the worldwide increase in body weight must be implemented quickly and rigorously evaluated, including smart food polices and improved health care training.”

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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