Statistics on obesity and overweight

Since 1980, the number of obese people around the world has more than doubled.
In 2014, over 1.9 billion adults over the age of 18 were overweight. Of these, over 600 million were obese.
In 2014, 39% of adults over the age of 18 were overweight, and 13% were obese.
Most of the world's population lives in countries where more people die from the consequences of overweight and obesity than from the effects of abnormally low body weight.
In 2014, 41 million children under the age of 5 suffered from overweight or obesity.
Obesity can be prevented.
What is overweight and obesity?

Overweight and obesity are the result of the formation of abnormal or excessive fat deposits that can be harmful to health.

The body mass index (BMI) is a simple ratio of body weight to height, often used to diagnose obesity and overweight in adults. The index is calculated as the ratio of body weight in kilograms to the square of growth in meters (kg / m2).

Adults
According to WHO, the diagnosis of "overweight" or "obesity" in adults is made in the following cases:

BMI greater than or equal to 25 - overweight;
BMI is greater than or equal to 30 - obesity.
BMI is the most convenient measure of obesity and overweight in the population, since it is the same for both sexes and for all age categories of adults. However, BMI should be considered an approximate criterion; For different people it can correspond to a different degree of completeness.

Children should be aware of age when determining excess weight and obesity.

Children under 5 years of age
In children under 5 years of age, overweight and obesity are defined as follows:

Excess weight - if the "body weight / height" ratio exceeds the median value specified in the Standard Indicators of Child Development (WHO) by more than two standard deviations;
Obesity - if the "body weight / height" ratio exceeds the median value specified in the Standard Indicators of Child Development (WHO) by more than three standard deviations;
Graphs and tables: WHO standard indicators of the physical development of children under 5 years of age - in English
Children aged 5 to 19 years
In children aged 5 to 19 years, overweight and obesity are defined as follows:

Excess weight - if the "BMI / age" ratio exceeds the median value specified in the Standard Indicators of Child Development (WHO) by more than one standard deviation;
Obesity - if the "BMI / age" ratio exceeds the median value specified in the Standard Indicators of Child Development (WHO) by more than two standard deviations;
Graphs and tables: WHO standard indicators of the physical development of children and adolescents aged 5-19 years - in English
Facts about overweight and obesity

Below are some recent global assessments of WHO:

In 2014, over 1.9 billion adults over the age of 18 were overweight. Of these, over 600 million were obese.
In 2014, about 13% of the adult population of the planet (11% of men and 15% of women) were obese.
According to 2014, 39% of adults over 18 years (38% of men and 40% of women) were overweight.
From 1980 to 2014, the number of obese people around the world has more than doubled.
It is estimated that in 2014, about 41 million children under the age of 5 years were overweight or obese. Overweight and obesity, previously considered characteristic of high-income countries, are now becoming more prevalent in low- and middle-income countries, especially in urban areas. In Africa, the number of overweight or obese children nearly doubled, from 5.4 million in 1990 to 10.6 million in 2014. In 2014, almost half of children under the age of 5 years with overweight or obesity lived in Asia.

In general, in the world more people die from the consequences of overweight and obesity than from the consequences of abnormally low body weight. The number of obese people exceeds the number of people with a reduced body weight; This state of affairs is observed in all regions, except for some areas of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

What causes overweight and obesity?

The main cause of obesity and excess weight - energy imbalance, in which the caloric content of the diet exceeds the energy needs of the body. Worldwide, the following trends are noted:

Increased consumption of foods with high energy density and high fat content;
Decrease in physical activity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many activities, changes in modes of movement and increasing urbanization.
Changes in diet and physical activity often result from environmental and social changes resulting from a development process that is not accompanied by appropriate enabling policies in sectors such as health, agriculture, transport, urban planning, environmental protection, food production and marketing, marketing and education.

What are the most common effects of overweight and obesity on health?

Elevated BMI is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases, such as:

Cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke), which in 2012 were the leading cause of death;
diabetes;
Disorders of the musculoskeletal system (in particular, osteoarthritis - an extremely disabling degenerative joint disease);
Some oncological diseases (including cancer of the endometrium, breast, ovary, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney and large intestine).
The risk of these non-communicable diseases increases with the increase in BMI.

Childhood obesity increases the likelihood of obesity, premature death and disability in adulthood. In addition to the increased risk in the future, obese children also experience shortness of breath, are at increased risk of fractures, are prone to hypertension, early manifestation of signs of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and may experience psychological problems.

The problem of the double burden of disease

Many low- and middle-income countries have recently faced the so-called "double burden of disease".
While they continue to address the problems associated with infectious diseases and malnutrition, in parallel they face a rapid increase in the prevalence of non-communicable disease risk factors, such as obesity and overweight, especially in urban areas.
Often the problem of malnutrition coexists with the problem of obesity in the same country, the same local community, the same family.
In low- and middle-income countries, children are more prone to inadequate nutrition in the period of fetal development, in infancy and in early childhood. At the same time, children in these countries eat foods with high content of fats, sugars and salt, with high energy density and low content of micronutrients. Such food, as a rule, is cheaper, but has a lower nutritional value. In combination with a low level of physical activity, this leads to a sharp increase in the prevalence of childhood obesity, and the problem of malnutrition remains unresolved.

How can the scale of the problem of overweight and obesity be reduced?

Overweight and obesity, as well as non-communicable diseases associated with them, are largely preventable. Enabling conditions and support at the community level play a crucial role in making people decide to switch to a healthier diet and regular physical activity as the most appropriate option (that is, affordable and feasible) that will help prevent overweight and obesity .

At the individual level, everyone can:

To limit the caloric content of your diet by reducing the amount of consumed fats and sugars;
Increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts;
Conduct regular physical activity (60 minutes per day for children and 150 minutes per week for adults).
The formation of a responsible attitude to health will give full return only if people are provided with the opportunity to lead a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, at the level of society as a whole, it is important to support people in adhering to the above recommendations by continuously implementing policy measures based on factual and demographic data and aimed at ensuring that regular physical activity and healthy eating are economically accessible and practicable for all, especially for the poorest Sections of the population. An example of such measures is the introduction of tax on artificially sweetened drinks.

The food industry can greatly contribute to the transition to a healthy diet:

Reducing the content of fat, sugar and salt in processed foods;
Ensuring the availability of healthy and nutritious products on sale at a price affordable for all consumers;
Limiting the advertising of foods high in sugars, salt and fats, especially food products targeted at children and adolescents;
Ensuring the availability of healthy food on the market and promoting regular physical activity in the workplace.
WHO activities

The World Health Assembly's 2004 "WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health" sets out a list of necessary measures to support healthy eating and regular physical activity. The strategy calls on all stakeholders to take action at the global, regional and local levels to improve diet and physical activity.

The Political Declaration adopted in September 2011 at the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases recognizes the importance of reducing the prevalence of unhealthy diets and low physical activity. The Declaration reaffirms the commitment to the further implementation of the WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, including, where appropriate, implementing policies and actions aimed at promoting healthy nutrition and increasing physical activity among the general population.

WHO also developed a "Global Plan of Action for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases for 2013-2020" In the framework of fulfilling the commitments proclaimed in the UN Political Declaration on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD), approved by the heads of state and government in September 2011. The Global Plan of Action will contribute to progress towards achieving, by 2025, 9 global goals for noncommunicable diseases, including a 25% reduction in premature death from NCDs and stabilization of the global number of obesity cases at the 2010 level.

In 2016, the World Health Assembly welcomed the report of the Commission on the Elimination of Childhood Obesity and its six recommendations on combating conditions conducive to obesity and on critical periods of life in which to combat childhood obesity. The Assembly invited the Director-General to develop a plan for implementing the recommendations as a guide for further action.
 

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