What in the World?
Leslie Albers, Bariatric Program Director
Can there really be more obese people on earth than underweight people for the first time in history? According to a new study, the answer is YES. The problem of obesity that has been growing in the US is now being felt globally.
What are the facts?
- 19.2 million men and women studied from 186 countries
- Significant changes in BMI over the last 40 years
- 10.8 % of men and 14.9% of women worldwide now have a BMI over 30 (obese)
- 8.8 % of men and 9.7 % of women have a BMI under 18.5 worldwide (underweight)
- In 1975 the average man had a BMI of 21.7 and the average woman had a BMI of 22.1
- In 2014 the averages were 24.2 for men and 24.4 for women which is a 3.3 pound increase for the average person each decade.
What does this mean?
If these trends continue obesity rates will reach one fifth of men and women globally. In addition to the obesity rate, approximately 6% of men and 9% of women will be severely obese with a BMI greater than 35. This increases the risk of many health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. We are going the wrong way! Not only will the world not meet the goal of halting the increase of obesity, by 2025, more women will be severely obese than underweight GLOBALLY.
What in the world can we do?
According to Professor Majid Ezzati from the school of public Health and Imperial College London, “To avoid an epidemic of severe obesity, new policies that can slow down and stop the worldwide increase in body weight must be implemented quickly and rigorously evaluated, including smart food policies and improved health-care training.”
What on earth can you do?
Start with yourself and your family. Educate yourself and find help. If you are struggling with your weight, you are not alone and there are solutions, including surgical weight loss. Soon you may find that your actions have a ripple effect that will reach farther than you ever imagined.