Obesity and overweight

Understanding Obesity and overweight- Key Facts

  • Since 1975, worldwide weight problems has tripled to date.
  • More than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, had been obese in 2016 and of those over 650 million had been overweight.
  • 39% of adults aged 18 years and over had been obese in 2016, and 13% had been overweight.
  • A lot of the world’s inhabitants reside in international locations the place obese and weight problems kills extra individuals than underweight.
  • 38 million youngsters below the age of 5 had been obese or overweight in 2019.
  • Over 340 million youngsters and adolescents aged 5-19 had been obese or overweight in 2016.
  • Weight problems is preventable.

What are weight problems and obeseChubby and weight problems are outlined as irregular or extreme fats accumulation that will impair well being.

Physique mass index (BMI) is a straightforward index of weight-for-height that’s generally used to categorise obese and weight problems in adults. It’s outlined as an individual’s weight in kilograms divided by the sq. of his top in meters (kg/m2).


For adults, WHO defines obese and weight problems as follows:

  • obese is a BMI larger than or equal to 25; and
  • weight problems is a BMI larger than or equal to 30.

BMI offers essentially the most helpful population-level measure of obese and weight problems as it’s the similar for each sexes and for all ages of adults. Nonetheless, it needs to be thought-about a tough information as a result of it might not correspond to the identical diploma of fatness in numerous people.

For kids, age must be thought-about when defining obese and weight problems.

Kids below 5 years of age

For kids below 5 years of age:

  • obese is weight-for-height larger than 2 normal deviations above WHO Youngster Progress Requirements median; and
  • weight problems is weight-for-height larger than Three normal deviations above the WHO Youngster Progress Requirements median.

Kids aged between 5–19 years

Chubby and weight problems are outlined as follows for kids aged between 5–19 years:

Info about obese and weight problems

Some latest WHO world estimates observe.

  • More than 1.9 billion adults aged 18 years and older had been obese in 2016 and of those over 650 million adults had been overweight.
  • In 2016, 39% of adults aged 18 years and over (39% of males and 40% of girls) had been obese.
  • General, about 13% of the world’s grownup inhabitants (11% of males and 15% of girls) had been overweight in 2016.
  • The worldwide prevalence of weight problems almost tripled between 1975 and 2016.

In 2019, an estimated 38.2 million youngsters below the age of 5 years had been obese or overweight. As soon as thought-about a high-income nation drawback, obese and weight problems at the moment are on the rise in low- and middle-income international locations, significantly in city settings. In Africa, the variety of obese youngsters below 5 has elevated by almost 24% % since 2000. Virtually half of the youngsters below 5 who had been obese or overweight in 2019 lived in Asia.

Over 340 million youngsters and adolescents aged 5-19 had been obese or overweight in 2016.

The prevalence of obese and weight problems amongst youngsters and adolescents aged 5-19 has risen dramatically from simply 4% in 1975 to simply over 18% in 2016. The rise has occurred equally amongst each girls and boys: in 2016 18% of women and 19% of boys had been obese.

Whereas slightly below 1% of kids and adolescents aged 5-19 had been overweight in 1975, extra 124 million youngsters and adolescents (6% of women and eight% of boys) had been overweight in 2016.

Chubby and weight problems are linked to extra deaths worldwide than underweight. Globally there are extra people who find themselves overweight than underweight – this happens in each area besides elements of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

What causes weight problems and obese?

The elemental explanation for weight problems and obese is an vitality imbalance between energy consumed and energy expended. Globally, there was:

  • an elevated consumption of energy-dense meals which might be excessive in fats and sugars; and
  • a rise in bodily inactivity as a result of more and more sedentary nature of many types of work, altering modes of transportation, and growing urbanization.

Adjustments in dietary and bodily exercise patterns are sometimes the results of environmental and societal modifications related to improvement and lack of supportive insurance policies in sectors comparable to well being, agriculture, transport, city planning, setting, meals processing, distribution, advertising and marketing, and schooling.

What are frequent well being penalties of obese and weight problems?

Raised BMI is a serious threat issue for noncommunicable ailments comparable to:

  • cardiovascular ailments (primarily coronary heart illness and stroke), which had been the main explanation for dying in 2012;
  • diabetes;
  • musculoskeletal issues (particularly osteoarthritis – a extremely disabling degenerative illness of the joints);
  • some cancers (together with endometrial, breast, ovarian, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney, and colon).

The danger for these noncommunicable ailments will increase, with will increase in BMI.

Childhood weight problems is related to a better probability of weight problems, untimely dying and incapacity in maturity. However along with elevated future dangers, overweight youngsters expertise respiratory difficulties, elevated threat of fractures, hypertension, early markers of heart problems, insulin resistance and psychological results.

Dealing with a double burden of malnutrition

Many low- and middle-income international locations at the moment are dealing with a “double burden” of malnutrition.

  • Whereas these international locations proceed to take care of the issues of infectious ailments and undernutrition, they’re additionally experiencing a fast upsurge in noncommunicable illness threat elements comparable to weight problems and obese, significantly in city settings.
  • It isn’t unusual to search out undernutrition and weight problems co-existing inside the similar nation, the identical neighborhood and the identical family.

Kids in low- and middle-income international locations are extra weak to insufficient pre-natal, toddler, and younger youngster diet. On the similar time, these youngsters are uncovered to high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt, energy-dense, and micronutrient-poor meals, which are typically decrease in price but additionally decrease in nutrient high quality. These dietary patterns, together with decrease ranges of bodily exercise, end in sharp will increase in childhood weight problems whereas undernutrition points stay unsolved.

How can obese and weight problems be decreased?

Chubby and weight problems, in addition to their associated noncommunicable ailments, are largely preventable. Supportive environments and communities are elementary in shaping individuals’s selections, by making the selection of more healthy meals and common bodily exercise the simplest alternative (the selection that’s the most accessible, out there and reasonably priced), and subsequently stopping obese and weight problems.

On the particular person stage, individuals can:

  • restrict vitality consumption from complete fat and sugars;
  • enhance consumption of fruit and greens, in addition to legumes, entire grains and nuts; and
  • have interaction in common bodily exercise (60 minutes a day for kids and 150 minutes unfold via the week for adults).

Particular person accountability can solely have its full impact the place individuals have entry to a wholesome life-style. Due to this fact, on the societal stage you will need to help people in following the suggestions above, via sustained implementation of proof based mostly and inhabitants based mostly insurance policies that make common bodily exercise and more healthy dietary selections out there, reasonably priced and simply accessible to everybody, significantly to the poorest people. An instance of such a coverage is a tax on sugar sweetened drinks.

The meals business can play a big position in selling wholesome diets by:

  • lowering the fats, sugar and salt content material of processed meals;
  • guaranteeing that wholesome and nutritious selections can be found and reasonably priced to all customers;
  • proscribing advertising and marketing of meals excessive in sugars, salt and fat, particularly these meals aimed toward youngsters and youngsters; and
  • guaranteeing the provision of wholesome meals selections and supporting common bodily exercise apply within the office.

WHO response

Adopted by the World Well being Meeting in 2004 and acknowledged once more in a 2011 political declaration on noncommunicable illness (NCDs), the “WHO International Technique on Food regimen, Bodily Exercise and Well being” describes the actions wanted to help wholesome diets and common bodily exercise. The Technique calls upon all stakeholders to take motion at world, regional and native ranges to enhance diets and bodily exercise patterns on the inhabitants stage.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Improvement acknowledges NCDs as a serious problem for sustainable improvement. As a part of the Agenda, Heads of State and Authorities dedicated to develop formidable nationwide responses, by 2030, to cut back by one-third untimely mortality from NCDs via prevention and remedy (SDG goal 3.4).

The International motion plan on bodily exercise 2018–2030: extra energetic individuals for a more healthy world” offers efficient and possible coverage actions to extend bodily exercise globally. WHO revealed ACTIVE a technical bundle to help international locations in planning and supply of their responses. New WHO pointers on bodily exercise, sedentary conduct and sleep in youngsters below 5 years of age had been launched in 2019.

The World Well being Meeting welcomed the report of the Fee on Ending Childhood Weight problems (2016) and its 6 suggestions to deal with the obesogenic setting and significant intervals within the life course to sort out childhood weight problems. The implementation plan to information international locations in taking motion to implement the suggestions of the Fee was welcomed by the World Well being Meeting in 2017.

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