Tuesday, July 16, 2024

50% of the World’s Population will be Fat and Unhealthy by 2023

Obesity is frequently viewed as a developed-world issue, with poorer nations more frequently experiencing food poverty and wealthier nations gorging themselves into a state of deteriorating health with an excess of ultra-processed foods. But that isn’t correct anymore.

Since their health systems are among the least equipped to handle increased prevention and treatment efforts, low- and lower-middle income nations are anticipated to experience some of the biggest increases in overweight and obesity rates.

Obesity has often been thought of as a problem of the developed world, with wealthy countries eating themselves into a state of ill-health with an abundance of ultra-processed foods and poorer ones more often suffering from food insecurity. But that’s no longer true.

Some of the most significant increases in overweight and obesity rates are likely to be seen in low- and lower-middle-income countries, whose health systems are among the least prepared to accommodate additional prevention and treatment efforts.

This is not a new trend, but to see that it is continuing and affecting children is very concerning, according to Dr. Wajahat Mehal, director of the Yale Metabolic Health and Weight Loss Programme at Yale Medicine in Connecticut.

Getting quality, nutritious foods is vital to a healthier life, Mehal said, but often these are expensive or difficult to obtain.

“The main issue with nutrition is the ease of availability of calorie-dense processed foods, which are designed to give a quick reward without much ability to make us feel full and satisfied,” Mehal explained.

The food environment is quite hazardous. Obesity rates have risen more slowly in nations that have been successful in preserving their traditional diets, such Japan and Vietnam.

In a report released in March, the Global Obesity Atlas (WOA) predicted that by 2035, obesity will affect every continent and more than half of the world’s population (51%, or more than 4 billion people). The predicted annual cost of treating diseases linked to obesity is $4 trillion, or roughly the amount the COVID-19 pandemic will cost the global health care system in 2020.

The new prediction represents a significant increase over the current 2023 figures. Nowadays, obesity affects 3.12 billion individuals worldwide, or 39% of the total population. Nevertheless, the worldwide obesity rate was 23.9% in 2008, affecting 1.63 billion people. That was 15 years ago.

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