Experts Say 1 In 5 Adults Will Be Obese By 2025

If current trends continue, about one-fifth of adults around the world will be obese by 2025. That trajectory defies the World Health Organization’s goal to halt the rise in obesity rates around the globe by the same year. And according to a new analysis of the largest global data set on obesity, the spread of obesity in poor countries could wreak havoc on their health systems in an unprecedented way.

“At least in the rich world, we have bought our way out of it to a large extent,” said lead study author Majid Ezzati, a professor of global environmental health at Imperial College London. “But obesity in the middle- and low-income world is the wildcard of global health.”

In other words, high-income countries like the U.S. or the U.K., which Ezzati also projects will have increasing obesity rates, won’t be hit as hard by obesity-related diseases because they have more experience with the condition and more resources to treat people with related complications like Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

While the march of obesity seems hopeless, experts say that countries can fight the trend by closely looking at nations where obesity and overweight isn’t increasing at all. What are they doing right, and how can other countries re-create the same conditions that help people stay at normal weights?

The obese now outnumber underweight people

Forty years ago, the number of underweight people was more than double the number of obese, explained Ezzati. Only 105 million adults were obese in 1975, a number that has now ballooned to 641 million. Meanwhile, significant pockets of underweight have persisted for decades in South Asia and Africa.

While it may seem like increasing numbers of obese people is an arguable — if perverse — improvement on people who —> Read More