One out of eight people now is obese – A global study

A study published in the medical journal ‘The Lancet’ has come up with the finding that every eighth person on the planet is now obese. Based on this, the experts from the field of medicine predict a tremendous health consequence; one of an unknown magnitude.

The findings were based on the BMI of individuals. A BMI (Body Mass Index) of 18.5 – 24.9 is what is considered as healthy. From 24.9-30, the body is considered to by overweight and any further beyond 30 makes one obese by definition.

Among men globally, obesity has tripled in the 39 years from 1975. The number of obese men in 1975 was only 3.2% while in 2014, it hit a staggering 10.8%. In a statement released by The Lancet, it is predicted that by 2025, roughly everyone in 5, both men and women, would be overweight.

Number of underweight people on the decline

The ratio of underweight people in the world has been on the decline; from 13.8% in 1975 to 8.8 % now for men, and from 14.6 % in 1975 to 9.7% now, in women. “Over the past 40 years, we have changed; from a World in which underweight prevalence was more than double that of obesity, to one in which more people are obese than underweight,”said the author, Majid Ezzati of the Imperial College of London. Also to be noted is the speculation that there will be more women who are severely obese (BMI>35) than underweight by the year 2025.

Trivia facts on Obesity

  • In 2014, the world’s fattest people were living in Micronesia and Polynesia.
  • Nearly one-fifth of the world’s obese population came from Australia, Britain, Ireland, USA, Canada or New Zealand.
  • One in every five severely obese men and one in every four severely obese women was from the USA.
  • In India, Eritrea and Ethiopia,Timor-Leste, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, a fifth of men and a quarter of women were underweight.

The future and Bariatric surgery

The study calls attention to social and food policies and points to Bariatric surgery as the “most effective intervention for weight loss and disease prevention” for the future, as waistlines are continuing to expand, globally.

*The data used was compiled from 1698 studies which involved 19.2 million adults from 186 countries. Statistics of children and teenagers were not used.

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