Across the globe, people are heavier now than ever before. The news follows a recent study led by Imperial College London, in which researchers determined that 266 million men and 375 million women worldwide are now considered obese.
To reach their conclusion, they focused on body mass index (BMI) trends for a 40-year period ending in 2014. During that time obesity rates among women more than doubled (6.4% to 14.9%) and more than tripled in men (3.2% to 10.8%). And, if things don’t change, researchers predict roughly one-fifth of all adults will be obese by the year 2025. Why does it matter?
“The number of people across the globe whose weight poses a serious threat to their health is greater than ever before,” said Majid Ezzati, a professor at Imperial College London and one of the authors of the study. He went on to say that the problem is not one that can be addressed with medication alone, and that global health initiatives are needed to address obesity as well as ensure access to healthy food.
The World Health Organization was also involved in the study, along with 700 scientists from universities and facilities worldwide. Of note, the United States stood out in terms of obesity, with the highest number of severely obese adults.