April 21, 2024

Euro Global Post- Latest News and Analysis | UK News | Business News

European news, UK news, political news, breaking news, lifestyle and entertainment news.

Global Obesity Epidemic Surpasses One Billion People, A Lancet Study Reveals

The Lancet medical journal’s latest study unveils a staggering reality: over one billion individuals worldwide are grappling with obesity, marking a fourfold increase since 1990. Termed an “epidemic” by experts, obesity disproportionately affects low-income nations and is surging among children and adolescents at a rate outpacing adults, underscoring a pressing global health concern.

Released ahead of World Obesity Day on March 4, the study paints a stark picture, estimating the number of obese individuals at 1,038 million in 2022, up from 226 million in 1990. Francesco Branca, WHO’s director of nutrition for health, expressed alarm at the accelerated rise, surpassing earlier projections by a decade.

Researchers scrutinised data from over 220 million individuals across 190 countries to arrive at these alarming figures, indicating a concerning trend. The study delineated that in 2022, 504 million women and 374 million men grappled with obesity, representing a tripling and doubling of rates since 1990, respectively.

Childhood obesity has seen a dramatic surge, with 159 million children and adolescents affected in 2022, compared to 31 million in 1990. The ramifications extend beyond physical health, encompassing increased risks of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers, compounded by susceptibility to severe outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regions including Polynesia, Micronesia, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and North Africa bear the brunt of this epidemic, with obesity rates surpassing those in affluent European nations. Branca highlighted the swift lifestyle shifts in low- and middle-income countries, underscoring the global reach of the crisis.

While some countries like France and Spain show signs of obesity plateauing, the study underscores a profound shift where obesity outstrips underweight individuals in most nations, emphasising the imperative for preventive measures from childhood through adulthood.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus emphasised the need for concerted action, urging collaboration with the private sector to address the health impacts of food products. The WHO advocates for interventions such as taxes on sugary drinks, curbing unhealthy food marketing to children, and bolstering subsidies for nutritious foods.

Although new diabetes treatments offer promise, experts caution against viewing them as panaceas, emphasising the imperative of long-term evaluation for mitigating obesity’s enduring effects.

In essence, combating the global obesity crisis necessitates a multifaceted approach, from policy interventions to individual lifestyle changes, underscoring the urgency of addressing this burgeoning public health challenge.