The NCD Risk Factor Collaboration published a study in the journal Lancet on April 2, 2016. The paper compares the world population from the 70’s with that of 2014, and the results said that there are more obese people now than 40 years ago. Accordingly, there is a reduction in the number of underweight population, but it is still an important health problem, especially in poor areas of the world.

The researching team used the Body Mass Index (BMI) as a measuring system. A BMI evaluation crosses the weight and height of a person to indicate an estimated body mass. It is very common in some gyms and nutrition centers, and doctors also use it because it allows measuring body fat and muscular mass.

there are more obese people now than 40 years ago. Photo credit: Obesity
there are more obese people now than 40 years ago. Photo credit: Obesity

They collected data from different sources which they consider properly measured the BMI. The scale was vast, researchers used information from public sources, such as the World Health Organization and different private studies. All the data sources are provided in the paper along with the studies the information was used for.

“Over the past four decades, 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” the paper reads.

In total, scientists analyzed the information of more than 19 million people (9.9 men and 9.3 women) from 186 to 200 countries. According to the study, since 1975 to 2014, obesity in men increased from 3-2% to 10.8% and in women from 6-4% to 14-9%. Which means ladies are leading the obesity chart. Worldwide, 0, 64% of men and 1.6% of women are morbidly obese, which is an extreme version of the condition that disables the person for basic daily activities.

In central Latin America, there is the higher concentration of obese women than in any other region of the world. Along with South Asia, these were the most alarming areas, but it is not confined to them. The problem has increased worldwide with few exceptions, such as South Africa and Saharan countries.

People tend to look at obesity as an aesthetic problem.

The fat acceptance movement, also known as Size acceptance, fat power or fativism, is a social movement that wants to establish rights for people with overweight. It might seem like a joke, but this kind of movements want the government to legally punish people for discrimination against obese individuals. The motion has even been successful in cases where the Americans with Disabilities Act is brought up.

However, scientists defined Obesity as a medical condition in which the excess of fat has negative effects on the health of the individual. Even governments around the world have agreed on tackling the problem. Their goal is to almost eradicate the problem by 2025, but as the paper reads “At the global level, the probability of meeting the target is virtually zero”. In fact, the authors say that if things continue like this, by 2025, 18% of men and more than 21% of women will be obese with morbid statistics raisin to 6% and 9% respectively.

There are already many movements promoting childhood obesity awareness, but in this study, the subjects were all adults, which means this kind of initiative has to be more inclusive.

Source: The Lancet