World Obese Population: New Study Claims 641 Million People Are Overweight

Louis Babcock - Author

Feb. 20 2017, Updated 11:16 p.m. ET

The world obese problem is tipping the scales with 641 million people now classified as obese. There are now more obese people in the world than those who are underweight. In order to be classified as obese, a person must have a BMI of 25 or greater. The study found that a boom in the world obese problem occurred over the last 40 years when 105 million people in the population found themselves in the obese category. Majid Ezzati, a professor at the school of public health at Imperial College London. commented on the world obese problem.

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“Our research has shown that over 40 years we have transitioned from a world in which underweight prevalence was more than double that of obesity, to one in which more people are obese than underweight. Although it is reassuring that the number of underweight individuals has decreased over the last four decades, global obesity has reached crisis point. We hope these findings create an imperative to shift responsibility from the individual to governments and to develop and implement policies to address obesity. For instance, unless we make healthy food options like fresh fruits and vegetables affordable for everyone and increase the price of unhealthy processed foods, the situation is unlikely to change.”

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The obese research published in The Lancet studied the population in 186 countries and compared data from 1975 to 2014. In 1975, 3.2 percent of men and 6.4 percent of women were considered obese. Those numbers increased substantially in 2014. In men, 10.8 percent (266 million) were now considered obese along with 14.9 percent (375 million) of women. On the opposite side of the scale, 462 million people were considered to be underweight.


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