The proportion of the obese population in the world has been increasing worldwide since 1980, doubling in 73 countries, according to a large study published yesterday which signals an aggravation of this public health crisis with now one in ten people suffering from obesity on the planet.
Excess weight is responsible for a significant increase in cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and certain cancers that lead to increased mortality.
The results of this study show “a growing and troubling public health crisis worldwide,” said the authors, whose work, which includes 195 countries and territories, has been published in the American Journal of Medicine.
The report is also presented at the annual EAT Food Forum in Stockholm, which aims to create a healthier and sustainable food production system.
By 2015, 107.7 million children and 603.7 million adults were suffering from obesity worldwide, the researchers said. A body mass index greater than 24.5 indicates that a person is overweight. A person is considered obese from a BMI of 30.
By 2015, overweight and obesity affected a total of 2.2 billion people, or 30% of the world’s population. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated this figure to be more than 1.9 billion in 2014, including more than 600 million obese people.
The incidence of pediatric obesity was lower than adult obesity, but increased more rapidly during this 35-year period.
This study also shows that a high BMI has been linked to four million deaths worldwide in 2015, of which nearly 40% in only overweight people. More than two-thirds of the deaths have resulted from cardiovascular disease, which has increased dramatically since 1990 and is linked to an excessive BMI.
“People who do not pay attention to weight gain do so at their own risk: they may have cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and other life-threatening conditions,” warns Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington in Seattle, one of the co-authors of the study.
Among the 20 most populous countries, the United States has the highest obesity rate for children and young adults, with nearly 13%, while Egypt is leading the prevalence of obese adults, with about 35% of this population.
The lowest incidence of adult obesity was found in Bangladesh and Vietnam with only 1%. China and India had the highest number of obese children with 15.3 million and 14.4 million children. The United States (79.4 million) and China (57.3 million) had the highest number of obese adults by 2015.
The objective of this study is to understand at the global level the factors responsible for “this current epidemic of diseases” related to overweight and obesity, explain the researchers.
In an editorial accompanying the study, Dr. Edward Gregg and Dr. Jonathan Shaw, epidemiologists at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said that “the most worrying figure is the tripling of obesity in children and young adults in developing and middle-income countries, such as China, Brazil and Indonesia. ”
“Youth obesity is likely to result in a significant increase in adult diabetes (type 2), hypertension and chronic kidney disease,” they predict.
This report draws on data from the latest Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD), which quantifies the health impact of more than 300 pathologies and types of injuries in 133 countries .