Findings from a major new global research project show that 2 billion children and adults are suffering from health problems related to being overweight or obese, and an increasing percentage of people are dying from these health conditions. The study includes data from 195 countries and territories, from 1980 through 2015.
Of the 4 million deaths attributed to excess body weight in 2015, nearly 40 per cent occurred among people whose body mass index (BMI) fell below the threshold for obesity.
The authors say the findings represent “a growing and disturbing global public health crisis”.
“Excess body weight is one of the most challenging public health problems of our time, affecting nearly one in every three people,” said lead author, Dr. Ashkan Afshin, assistant professor at the US Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). “Over the past decade, numerous interventions have been evaluated, but very little evidence exists about their long-term effectiveness.”
Yesterday, a new agreement was announced between the IHME and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization to exchange data, knowledge, and expertise to help understand what is driving the global epidemic of disease related to high body weight.
The findings are published in the New England Journal of Medicine .