Almost 30% of People In the World Are Obese or Overweight
The global obesity epidemic continues, and a new report shows that about two billion people worldwide are overweight or obese. That’s about 30% of the world’s population.
The new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that about a third of the global population—including adults and children—exceed a healthy weight. About 10% of people in the world are obese, according to the findings. Studies have linked overweight and obesity to a higher risk for health complications like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression, respiratory problems, major cancers and more.
The study authors looked at data from people in 195 countries and territories from 1980 through 2015. They found that in 2015, there were 107 million children and 603 million adults with obesity. Having a high body mass index accounted for 4 million deaths in 2015, and more than two thirds of these deaths were from heart disease.
Since 1980, obesity rates in 70 countries have doubled, the study found, and the rate of childhood obesity has increased faster in many countries than the adult obesity rate.
As TIME recently reported, several factors have contributed to the growing obesity epidemic, including greater access to fast food, larger portion sizes and ubiquitous processed food. Emerging science also suggests that chemicals from food and household products may have an effect.