Over 50% Of the World to Be Overweight or Obese by 2035

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Over 50% Of the World to Be Overweight or Obese by 2035
Person getting ready to lift some weights.

The World Obesity Foundation (OBF) has issued a report, stating that more than half of the world’s population will be overweight or obese by 2035 if measures are not taken to rectify the situation.

The report highlights that lower-income countries, especially in the African and Asian regions are expected to see the highest rise in obesity.

The report also shines a light on the economic impact of the rise, predicting that it would cost up to USD 4 trillion annually, equating to about 3 percent of the Global Growth Domestic Product (GDP).

The most significant aspect of the report is the rise in obesity among children and teenage boys and girls, with rates from 2020 expected to double in 2023.

Reasons for this sudden surge include trends in dietary preferences towards more highly processed foods, greater levels of sedentary behavior, weaker policies to control food supply and marketing, and less well-resourced healthcare services to assist in weight management and health education, the BBC reports.

Prof Louise Baur, president of the OBF, said that “the trends are very worrying” and that governments should avoid shifting the health, social, and economic costs onto the younger generation.

The World Obesity Atlas 2023 also highlighted some key points about Laos, and its preparedness to combat the rising rates.

It is predicted that 17 percent of adults in Laos will be classified as overweight or obese, which is classified as a “medium” risk by the report.

On the other hand, Laos has ranked “very high” in other categories, with a 6.1 percent annual increase in adult obesity from 2020-2035 and an 8.9 percent annual increase in childhood obesity from 2020-2035.

Furthermore, Laos ranks only 156 out of 183 countries for global preparedness to combat obesity, which is classified as very poor.

Economically, it is predicted that the GDP of Laos would be USD 22 billion by 2025, USD 28 billion by 2030, and USD 38 billion by 2035, with the overweight impact on Laos’ GDP, predicted to be 2.6 percent by 2035.

The report emphasizes that its acknowledgment of the economic impact of obesity “is in no way a reflection of the blame on people living with obesity”, the BBC wrote.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has already taken measures to improve the situation, calling out for the banning of toxic trans fats from foods.