More than a billion people worldwide suffer from obesity: WHO

Web Desk
A representational image of an obese man holding his stomach. — Unsplash
A representational image of an obese man holding his stomach. — Unsplash

Current estimates from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and an international team of researchers indicate that over a billion people worldwide are obese, a condition associated with a higher risk of several major health issues, Reuters reported.

In most countries, including many low and middle-income countries that have historically suffered from undernourishment, obesity has become more frequent than being underweight.

Majid Ezzati, a professor at Imperial College London and senior author, stated that "a staggering number of people are living with obesity."

Based on data from over 220 million people in over 190 countries, the results are regarded as some of the most reliable independent estimations.

According to Ezzati, obesity rates are growing quickly in certain nations while plateauing in many wealthier ones.

Even though underweight is becoming less frequent worldwide, it is still a major problem in many nations, meaning that more and more nations are dealing with the "double burden" of malnutrition.

To combat obesity trends, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that policies like tariffs on high-sugar goods and the promotion of nutritious school lunches were necessary.

"Importantly, it requires the cooperation of the private sector, which must be accountable for the health impacts of their products," he said.