A report by the World Obesity Federation suggests if trends continue, the global rate of obese adults will increase from 13% in 2014 to 17% in 2025, according to a news release.
The report was issued in time for World Obesity Day, Oct. 11. In 2012, governments around the world committed to the World Health Organization goal of lowering the prevalence of overweight and obesity to 2010 levels by 2025. If that goal is to be accomplished, and the projected increase avoided, government action is needed now, according to the federation release.
“The obesity epidemic has reached virtually every country worldwide, and overweight and obesity levels are set to continue to rise,” World Obesity Federation President Walmir Coutinho, MD, said in the release. “Governments know the present epidemic is unsustainable and doing nothing is not an option. If governments hope to achieve the WHO target of keeping obesity at 2010 levels, then the time to act is now.”
The federation reported 2 billion adults worldwide are overweight, and projects an increase to 2.7 billion by 2025. Data also suggest 177 million adults will be severely obese and in need of treatment by 2025.
In 2010, 36% of adults were overweight, including 11% obese and 1.4% severely obese. That rose to 39% overweight, 13% obese and 1.9% severely obese in 2014, and is expected to increase to 46% overweight, 17% obese and 3% severely obese by 2025, according to the release.
In the last 10 years, consumption of sugary drinks rose by 33%, according to the report. One in 4 adults and 4 in 5 young people ages 11-17 fail to get sufficient physical activity. “Common risk factors such as soft drink consumption and sedentary working environments, have increased, fast food advertising continues and greater numbers of people live in urban environments without access to green spaces,” said Tim Lobstein, PhD, director of policy at the World Obesity Federation. “Governments have accepted the need for regulatory measures such as market controls, taxes and subsidies, setting standards for catering services and investment in healthy schools, but few governments are implementing these measures.”
The federation is recommending governments introduce regulations to end marketing of unhealthy foods to children, ensure schools promote healthy eating, strengthen planning and building rules to ensure safe neighborhoods, encourage workplaces to offer and promote healthy food choices and physical activities, and introduce taxes and subsidies to make healthier food cheaper and unhealthy food more expensive.
In addition, the World Obesity Federation is also urging governments to introduce and expand screening and services for weight loss and weight management. “We need to improve the delivery of weight management and treatment services to ensure access for every person who needs them,” Coutinho said in the release. “Medical services will need funding, staff will need training, and proper care pathways developed to ensure everyone has access to the care they need.”
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