Half of World population will be overweight or obese by 2035, Experts say

Akhil A Pillai

The World Obesity Federation has issued a warning that over half of the world's population will be classified as overweight or obese by 2035 if no action is taken. The report indicates that more than four billion people will be affected, with the most rapid increase among children. The most significant rises are anticipated in Africa and Asia's low- or middle-income countries. The cost of obesity is projected to exceed $4tn (£3.3tn) annually by 2035. Prof Louise Baur, the federation's president, stated that the report clearly warns nations to take action now or face the consequences in the future. The report emphasizes the increase in the number of obesity among teenagers and children, with rates expected to double from 2020 levels in both genders. The report highlights the urgent need for governments and policymakers worldwide to address the root causes of obesity and prevent the transfer of health, social, and economic costs to future generations. The report also emphasizes the effects of obesity on low-income countries, with nine of the top ten countries expected to experience the greatest increases in obesity being low or lower-middle-income states in Africa and Asia.

The report identifies several factors for the rise in obesity rates worldwide, including an inclination towards highly processed foods, increased sedentary behavior, inadequate policies to regulate food supply and marketing, and insufficient healthcare services to support weight management and health education. Countries with lower income are often the least equipped to respond to obesity and its consequences. The report also predicts that obesity rates worldwide will have a major impact on the world economy, equivalent to 3% of global GDP. The report emphasizes that acknowledging the economic impact of obesity is not a reflection of the blame on people living with obesity. The report's data will be presented to the United Nations on Monday. Obesity is a medical term that refers to individuals with an excessive amount of body fat, which the report measures using body mass index (BMI).

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