Over half of the world is predicted to be obese in just over 10 years.
The World Obesity Atlas for 2023 has projected that 51% of people — over 4 billion — will be obese by 2035.
The economic impact of this obesity epidemic is expected to exceed $4 trillion.
The report projects that 58% of adults in the United States will be obese by 2035. The report also projected an annual increase in obesity in adults of 2.1% and 2.4% for children.
Obesity is projected to have an economic impact of about 4% on the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 3% on a global scale. The nation’s current GDP is just over 23 trillion, according to the latest data from the World Bank.
Obesity rates among children are also expected to double across the world.
“Rates are predicted to double among boys to 208 million (100% increase) and more than double among girls to 175 million (125% increase) and are rising more rapidly among children than adults,” the press release for the report said.
Weight loss medication and bariatric medication were recently approved for use in adolescents in an effort to curb the obesity crisis, as previously reported by The Dallas Express. These revamped guidelines were presented after the CDC announced expanded body mass index (BMI) measurements in the wake of widespread weight gain.
Bariatric surgery and weight loss medication are not the only solutions proposed to alleviate obesity. Proper exercise and nutrition have also been proposed as viable solutions.
The President of the World Obesity Federation, Louise Baur, said in the press release that officials must evaluate root factors that contribute to the crisis and involve youth in the development of solutions.
“This year’s Atlas is a clear warning that by failing to address obesity today, we risk serious repercussions in the future,” said Baur in the release. “It is particularly worrying to see obesity rates rising fastest among children and adolescents. Governments and policymakers around the world need to do all they can to avoid passing health, social, and economic costs on to the younger generation,” she continued.
The United States is ranked 18th on the global scale in terms of BMI and 123rd in terms of obese adults, according to the World Population Review in 2023.
The World Obesity Atlas for 2023 also illustrated how nations and countries rank in their ability to handle rising cases of obesity.
The report evaluated Obesity-NCD Preparedness Rankings in 183 countries. This ranking system accounts for a nation’s current health system responses to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and commitment to obesity prevention measures.
All 10 of the countries ranking as the most prepared nations are European, while eight of the 10 least prepared nations were located in Africa, according to the data analysis contained in the press release.
Niger and Papua New Guinea ranked as the least equipped, while the nations of Switzerland and Norway were ranked as the most prepared. The United States was ranked 41 on this list, according to the World Obesity Atlas for 2023.
The economic impact posed for low-income nations alone is expected to exceed $370 billion annually, per the press release.
“If we do not act now, we are on course to see significant increases in obesity prevalence over the next decade,” said the Director of Science at the World Obesity Federation, Rachel Jackson-Leach, according to the press release. “The greatest increases will be seen in low and lower-middle-income countries, where scarce resources and lack of preparedness will create a perfect storm that will negatively impact people living with obesity the most,” she continued.