Analysis shows over 1 billion people are obese.

An survey published Thursday in The Lancet found that obesity affects more than 1 billion children, adolescents, and adults worldwide, making it the most frequent type of malnutrition in many nations.

Dr. Majid Ezzati, senior author of the analysis and professor at Imperial College London, said in a news conference Thursday that this staggering statistic was reached earlier than expected due to the rapid transition of underweight to obesity in low-income and middle-income countries.

The World Obesity Federation predicted 1 billion obese persons by 2030, however that number was exceeded in 2022.

Obesity and underweight, both hazardous nutritional symptoms, were evaluated. Underweight adults had a BMI below 18.5, while obese adults had over 30. Fat or underweight children and adolescents were categorized by age and sex.

“Undernutrition and obesity are two faces of the same problem, which is the lack of access to a healthy diet,” WHO Department of Nutrition and Food Safety director Dr. Francesco Branca stated in the news conference.

The report estimated 880 million adults and 159 million children were obese in 2022. Childhood and teenage obesity rates worldwide quadrupled from 1990 to 2022, while adult obesity rates doubled.

Most countries had rising obesity but falling underweight. Two-thirds of nations have more obese than underweight people.

Polynesia, Micronesia, the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa had similar changes. This survey indicated higher obesity rates in these nations than in affluent Western ones.

No industrialized wealthy nation save the US has the greatest obesity rate in 2022, Ezzati added, surprising academics. In 2017, WHO designated the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and UK the top five obesity countries.

He advised “double duty” policy initiatives to address obesity and underweight in many countries.

South American countries now advise against fat, sugar, and salt on food packaging. Branca said Mexico taxed sugary drinks first and Chile bans processed food marketing to minors. Healthy nutrition and physical activity community initiatives work well,”

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