Health Effects of Overweight and Obesity in 195 Countries over 25 Years

Health Effects of Overweight and Obesity in 195 Countries over 25 Years

Published by The New England Journal o f Medicine,  June 18, 2017


Although the rising pandemic of obesity has received major attention in many countries,
the effects of this attention on trends and the disease burden of obesity remain

We analyzed data from 68.5 million persons to assess the trends in the prevalence
of overweight and obesity among children and adults between 1980 and 2015. Using
the Global Burden of Disease study data and methods, we also quantified the burden
of disease related to high body-mass index (BMI), according to age, sex, cause, and
BMI in 195 countries between 1990 and 2015.

In 2015, a total of 107.7 million children and 603.7 million adults were obese. Since
1980, the prevalence of obesity has doubled in more than 70 countries and has
continuously increased in most other countries. Although the prevalence of obesity
among children has been lower than that among adults, the rate of increase in
childhood obesity in many countries has been greater than the rate of increase in
adult obesity. High BMI accounted for 4.0 million deaths globally, nearly 40% of
which occurred in persons who were not obese. More than two thirds of deaths
related to high BMI were due to cardiovascular disease. The disease burden related
to high BMI has increased since 1990; however, the rate of this increase has been
attenuated owing to decreases in underlying rates of death from cardiovascular

The rapid increase in the prevalence and disease burden of elevated BMI highlights
the need for continued focus on surveillance of BMI and identification, implementation,
and evaluation of evidence-based interventions to address this problem.

To Read the Entire Study Conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine,  Click Here

(Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.)