By 2035, more than half of the world’s population will be overweight

Atlas 2023 published by the World Obesity Federation highlights alarming predictions that over half of people on Earth are overweight or obese in 12 years’ time if prevention, treatments, and support don’t improve.

This document sheds light on a growing public health problem that requires urgent attention from healthcare providers and policymakers.

Global economic impact of obesity and overweight

According to the World Obesity Atlas 2023, the economic impact of obesity and overweight will exceed $4 trillion per year by 2035 if preventive and treatment measures are not improved.

This is the equivalent of almost 3% global GDP. It is similar to the impact COVID-19 will have in 2020. This projection highlights the urgent need to take global action in order to prevent and manage obesity and overweight.

Child Obesity is on the Rise

The Atlas report predicts that childhood obesity will more than double in 2035. Children’s rates are expected to increase faster than adult’s, according to the report. According to the Atlas report, by 2035, childhood obesity rates will more than double among children.

This is an alarming trend, as childhood obesity can be a risk factor for a variety of chronic health conditions , such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. It also has social and psychological implications.

Global Disparities of Obesity Rates

Atlas highlights the rapid increase in obesity prevalence among lower-income countries. Nine of the ten countries that are expected to experience the largest increases in obesity rates (both for adults and children) are low- or lower-middle income countries. These countries are all from Asia or Africa.

This suggests that those who live in areas with less resources need tailored interventions.

Call for Comprehensive National Action Plans

The World Obesity Federation calls for countries to develop comprehensive national action plans in order to combat obesity and overweight. The Federation encourages all countries to follow the WHO Recommendations for the Prevention and Management of Obesity.

The recommendations include measures like implementing healthy eating policies, promoting exercise, and improving healthcare access.

Recognizing Obesity As A Chronic Disease

These insights should not be used to place blame on individuals who are obese. Obesity is a chronic and relapsing illness.

Obesity requires long-term, comprehensive support. This includes lifestyle interventions, medical management and medical treatment.

How Can We Address the Growing Obesity Crisis

The obesity epidemic is only going to get worse. We must take action as individuals and as a society to combat this issue.

  • Prioritize healthy habits: Healthy eating habits are one of the best ways to combat obesity. Include fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet. Limit your consumption of processed and sugary foods. Prepare meals at home, and bring healthy snacks to school or work.
  • Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can be an important part of a healthy life style and help people maintain a healthy body weight. By providing safe bike paths and sidewalks and access to parks and recreation facilities, communities can increase opportunities for physical exercise.
  • Mental health concerns can lead to obesity. Depression, anxiety and stress are all mental health problems. Consult a therapist to learn stress management techniques, coping skills, and improve your mental health. You can improve your weight loss by prioritizing mental health.
  • Social issues can be a factor in obesity. Poverty, food security, and other social factors are all important. You can find support and resources in your local community if you are facing these challenges. If you can help others in some way, donate or volunteer to an organization that provides services to those who are in need.
  • Advocate for policy changes: Promote policies that focus on obesity prevention and treatment. For example, sugar-sweetened beverages taxes, mandatory menu labels, and zoning regulations that promote healthy retail food options.
  • Ask for healthcare support. Schedule regular checkups with your physician and discuss your concerns about weight. Consult your doctor about healthy lifestyles and work with a physical therapist or dietician to create a plan.