Obesity Epidemic: Shocking Global Trends Revealed

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he report also reveals that 43% of adults were overweight in 2022. (Photo: Unsplash)

In the last 30 years, the number of individuals, including children and adolescents, worldwide has increased fourfold, while the number of adults has more than doubled. The report also reveals that 43% of adults were overweight in 2022.

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These findings stem from a global analysis conducted by the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), published in the scientific journal “The Lancet” on Thursday, January 29.

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The report compiled data from 3,663 population-based studies involving 222 million participants across 200 countries and territories, with contributions from over 1,500 researchers.

According to the research, 159 million children and adolescents and 879 million adults were living with obesity in 2022, totaling over one billion affected by obesity. In other words, one in every eight people worldwide lives with obesity.

Furthermore, the analysis also included rates of underweight individuals over the years surveyed. The proportion of children and adolescents affected by underweight decreased by about one-fifth in girls and over one-third in boys. In adults, the proportion decreased by more than half.

In recent years, we have witnessed a concerning escalation in obesity rates worldwide, both among children and adolescents as well as among adults. Between 1990 and 2022, childhood obesity increased dramatically, with rates more than quadrupling in both girls and boys. In 2022, a total of 159 million children and adolescents were affected by obesity, a significant leap from the 31 million recorded in 1990.

On the adult front, the numbers are no less alarming. Between 1990 and 2022, obesity rates more than doubled among women and nearly tripled among men. In 2022, the total number of adults living with obesity reached a staggering 879 million, a striking increase from the 195 million recorded in 1990. Of these figures, women outnumbered men, with 504 million women living with obesity compared to 374 million men.

A closer analysis reveals significant gender and regional disparities. In 2022, the prevalence of obesity among men was ranked as the 65th highest in the world, with a notable increase from 5.8% in 1990 to 25% in 2022.

These statistics highlight the urgency of global efforts to address the complex factors contributing to the obesity epidemic. Comprehensive measures are needed to tackle everything from lifestyle changes to access to healthy food options, education, and health interventions to reverse this worrying trend and promote healthier lifestyles worldwide

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