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More than half of the world will be overweight by 2035, obesity federation warns

The World Obesity Federation warns that the majority of the world’s population, more than four billion, will be overweight by 2035. Nearly two billion, or around one in four, are likely to be obese.

The new report, based on a global survey, revealed that childhood will double in the future, affecting 208 million boys (and 175 million girls)

According to Rachel Jackson-Leach (director of science at World Obesity Federation), although obesity rates are higher in high-income countries, they are expected to increase the most in low-income countries in Africa, Asia.

The federation stated that if “significant action” isn’t taken to improve prevention or treatment, the economic consequences of being overweight or obese will be $4.32 trillion (PS3.6trn), almost 3% of global GDP.


This would be comparable to the impact of COVID-19 in 2020.

The cost of obesity is not the fault of people with diseases

According to the federation, obesity is a chronic and relapsing condition that can be influenced by biological, socio-environmental factors “outside of an individual’s control.”

Johanna Ralston is the CEO of the World Obesity Federation.

“It is the result of high-level failures in providing the environment, healthcare, and food support systems that all of us need to live happy, health lives.

“Resolving these issues will benefit billions of people in many ways.

“We cannot afford to ignore the increasing rates of obesity any more.”

According to the World Health Organization, overweight is defined as having a body mass (BMI) higher than 25 and obesity as having a BMI lower than 30.

Obesity can cause damage to the heart, liver and kidneys, as well as affect the reproductive system and lead to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

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Clear warning to combat obesity

None of the WHO member countries are on track for achieving the 2013 goal of reducing obesity to 2010 levels by 2025.

The World Obesity Federation will be calling for an international response to the growing prevalence of the disease at an event Monday. This follows World Obesity Day, Saturday 4 March.

President of the federation Professor Louise Baur said that the report was “a clear warning” that if we don’t address obesity now, we could face serious consequences in the future.

She urged governments and policymakers worldwide to “do everything they can to prevent the passing of health, economic, and social costs on to our younger generation”.

She said, “That means we must urgently look at the root causes of obesity and involve young people in finding solutions.

“If we all act now, we can help billions of people in future.”

The WHO stated last year that it is important to take action early, “ideally before a baby is born”. The WHO recommended breastfeeding and good nutrition during pregnancy.

The WHO asked all countries to create a healthier food environment so that everyone can eat healthy and affordable meals.

Other suggestions include restricting marketing of unhealthy foods and drinks to children, taxing sugary beverages, making it safer to walk, cycle and enjoy recreation in cities and towns, and getting schools to teach healthy habits to children.


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