Obesity Increase Statistics Worldwide
The number of obese kids and adolescents in the world has doubled since 1975, but they are still fewer than those with weight loss, according to a study released Wednesday.
If the trends observed in recent years are maintained, youth obesity will nevertheless surpass the underweight by 2022, predict the authors of this study, published in the British medical journal The Lancet.
By 2016, 124 million young people aged 5 to 19 years were considered obese, compared to only 11 million in 1975, according to a report prepared by Imperial College London and the World Health Organization.
The phenomenon concerns all regions of the world. The most affected countries are some Polynesian islands (more than 30% between 5-19 years in the Cook Islands, for example), while this percentage reaches 20% in countries like the United States, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.
While this trend seems to be stagnating for several years in some rich countries, it continues to accentuate in low- and middle-income countries.
The number of underweight children and adolescents has declined slowly since 2000 in many regions, but not in South and Southeast Asia, Central Africa, East Africa and the West.
Last year, 192 million of them were moderately or severely underweight, according to the authors, who analyzed data on about 31.5 million young people in 200 countries. Two-thirds of these affected young people live in Southeast Asia, especially in India.
Too low a weight increases the risk of contracting infectious diseases.
“Policies are still needed to encourage food security in low-income countries and households … But our data show that the transition from underweight to overweight obesity can occur quickly,” according to Professor Majid Ezzati, from Imperial College London, who coordinated the study.
Ezzati warns especially about the risk of a “poor food transition, with an increase in food with a high energy intake but poor in nutrients.”
“There are very few policies and programs that try to make healthy food, such as whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables, accessible to poor families,” he said in a statement accompanying the study.
This causes social inequalities in the face of obesity and limits the possibilities of reducing this scourge, added this researcher.
Obesity carries greater risks of suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
One of the prominent reasons behind this increased obesity rates could be linked to the consumption of Un-Happy Meals and Junk Food which is available in every nook-and-corner of the world.