If current trends continue, the number of overweight or obese adults on the planet will reach almost 2.7 billion by 2025, according to the World Obesity Federation (WOF). That’s equivalent to the present populations of China and India combined.
WOF, which is made up of more than 50 regional and national obesity associations, also estimates that 17% of the world’s total population will be obese by 2025. In 2014, 13% of people were obese. The organization suggests that government intervention is required to mitigate the projected increase and subsequent health concerns.
Tim Lobstein, PhD, director of policy for WOF, noted a few of the reasons why the world’s population continues to gain weight:
“Common risk factors such as soft drink consumption and sedentary working environments have increased, fast food advertising continues and greater numbers of people live in urban environments without access to green spaces,” he explained. “Governments have accepted the need for regulatory measures such as market controls, taxes and subsidies, setting standards for catering services and investment in healthy schools—but few governments are implementing these measures.”
To avoid reaching the 2025 predictions, Lobstein suggests, governments need to better regulate junk-food advertising aimed at kids; ensure healthier school food options; encourage employers to offer healthy-food and physical activity options; introduce taxes and subsidies to make healthy foods cheaper; and more.
In what ways do you think government should intervene to avoid further increases in the number of people who are overweight or obese? Send your responses to [email protected]