1 in 5 Will Be Obese by 2025

1 in 5 Will Be Obese by 20251 in 5 Will Be Obese by 2025

The obesity epidemic has gone global, and it may be worse than most thought. A new study in the British Medical Journal ‘The Lancet’ says that if current trends continue, 18% of men and 21% of women will be obese by 2025.

For the first time in human history, there are more obese people than underweight people in the world. The researchers speculate that if these trends continue, approximately a fifth of men and women worldwide will be obese.

In four decades, global obesity has more than tripled among men and doubled among women, says Majid Ezzati, Imperial College London professor and the study’s senior author, CNN reported.

“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 by 2025,” Ezzati said. “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 policies and improved health-care training.”

An estimated 6% of men and 9% of women will be severely obese, with a BMI of over 35, putting them at risk for a host of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

  Stunning Change  

The data, which was pooled from studies, surveys and reports, looked at 19.2 million men and women from 186 countries, and shows stunning changes in less than 40 years, with an increasing average body mass index in multiple countries from 1975 to 2014.

The study estimates that 10.8% of men and 14.9% of women worldwide are obese, defined by a BMI of over 30, while just 8.8% of men and 9.7% of women are underweight, defined by a BMI of under 18.5.

In 1975, men on average were found to have a BMI of 21.7 and women had a 22.1 BMI. In 2014, those figures ware 24.2 for men and 24.4 for women. This means that the average person became 1.5 kg, or about 3.3 pounds, heaver each decade, Reuters wrote.

Unsurprisingly, high-income, English-speaking countries (Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States) account for more than a quarter of the world’s severely obese people. Coming in second is the Middle East and North Africa, which is home to 26 million severely obese people, or 13.9% of the world’s severely obese population.

Forty percent to 50% of women in several Caribbean and Middle Eastern countries are obese. In 1975, China was 60th and 41st for severely obese men and women, respectively. In 2014, it was second for both.

The United States, though, still takes the cake. More than one in four severely obese men and one in five severely obese women live in the country. By 2025, the study estimates that 43% of women and 45% of men in the United States will be obese.

The researchers said people being underweight is still a huge issue globally. Being underweight puts a person at risk for multiple health problems including anemia, infertility and osteoporosis.