(CBC, April 1,2016): About one in five adults worldwide will have obesity by 2025 if current trends continue, say public health experts who are calling for changes to food policy.
Globally, the number of men and women with obesity rose from 105 million in 1975 to 641 million in 2014, a British led team reported in this week’s issue of The Lancet medical journal. Obesity is determined by Body Mass Index, which is based on height and weight. A score over 30 is considered obese.
“The number of people across the globe whose weight poses a serious threat to their health is greater than ever before,” Majid Ezzati, a professor at the school of public health at Imperial College London, said in an interview with Reuters.
“And this epidemic of severe obesity is too extensive to be tackled with medications such as blood pressure lowering drugs or diabetes treatments alone, or with a few extra bike lanes.”
Rather, Ezzati called for new “smart food policies” to slow down expanding waistlines worldwide, such as:
- Address the pricing of healthy foods versus unhealthy foods.
- Taxing high sugar and highly processed foods.
- Improved health-care training.
The study’s authors reported the number of people with obesity surpassed the number of those underweight in 2004 for women and in 2011 for men.
The researchers based their analysis on the height and weight measurements of almost 20 million adults from 1975 to 2014.