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Hard-hitting Obesity Facts We Should All Be Aware Of

The term obese describes a person who's very overweight, with a lot of body fat. For an individual, obesity is usually a result of an imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended.

Obesity is typically characterised by a weight gain of about 1–2 kg per year over a period of 15–25 years, depending on the individual. This rate of yearly weight gain is quite small when spread out over 365 days. [4] However with regular physical activity and healthy eating obesity can be managed and reduced.

Around the World

1. 65% of the world's population live in countries where being overweight and obese kills more people than being underweight. 

2. Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975.

3. Currently, about 36% of American adults are obese which is more than 1 in 3. And globally, more than 1 in 10 humans are obese.

4. Nearly two-thirds of the UK population is either overweight or obese.

5. The lowest Obesity rates in the world were measured in:

  1.  Vietnam - 2.1%
     Bangladesh - 3.6%
     Timor-Leste - 3.8%
     India - 3.9%
     Cambodia - 3.9%

  2. Moderate Obesity (BMI’s between 30 and 35) cuts life expectancy by 2-4 years. Severe Obesity (BMI’s between 40 and 45) cuts life expectancy by an entire decade. [5]

  3. In the UK the government spends £14 million a year on anti-obesity social marketing however the food industry spends more than £1 billion a year on marketing. [5]

  4. The level of obesity is across different age groups varies largely [3]:

  • 20–39 years old — 32.3%
  • 40–59 years old — 40.2%
  • 60 years old or over — 37.0% 

In Adults

  1. In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 650 million were obese [2]

  2. Overall, about 13% of the world’s adult population (11% of men and 15% of women) were obese in 2016 [2]

  3. People who were obese had average medical costs $1,429 (£1112) more than those of a normal weight. [3]

  4. Roughly half of pregnant mothers in the U.S. are overweight or obese when they attend their first antenatal appointment [4]

  5. Mothers who have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 35 had a 23 percent greater risk of having a baby with malformations than those with a normal BMI. For those with a BMI greater than 40, this risk was 37 percent higher.[4]

In Children


  1. 41 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2016 [2]

  2. Over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese in 2016 [2]

  3. Nearly half of all overweight or obese children under 5 live in Asia. [3]











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