The report says obesity rates are rising particularly fast among children and in low-income countries. Describing the data as a “clear warning,” Louise Baur, president of the World Obesity Federation, said policymakers must act now to prevent the situation from getting worse, according to CNN. “It is particularly worrying to see obesity rates rising the fastest among children and adolescents,” Baur said, adding that governments and policymakers around the world must do everything possible to “avoid passing on health, social and and affordable for the younger generation.
The report also says that childhood obesity could more than double from 2020 levels to 208 million boys and 175 million girls by 2035. The experts also drew attention to the fact that public spending on overweight will amount to more than $4 trillion a year by 2035, or 3 percent of global GDP. At the same time, the study authors said they don’t blame individuals, but instead call for a focus on the social, environmental and biological factors associated with obesity.
The report uses body mass index (BMI) as an assessment, a number calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared. According to the recommendations of the World Health Organization, a BMI greater than 25 is considered overweight, and greater than 30, obesity. In 2020, 2.6 billion people, or 38% of the world’s population, fell into these categories. The report also notes that almost all of the countries expected to experience the largest increase in obesity in the coming years are low- or middle-income countries in Asia and Africa.
The data will be presented to politicians and United Nations member states next week.