This global health problem has just hit an unfortunate milestone.
According to a recent study, the world now has more overweight than underweight people, with 640 million adults classified as obese, or having a body mass index of at least 30. And CNN reported that if things don’t change, 18 percent of men and 21 percent of women will be obese by 2025.
Currently, 136 countries have more obese than underweight men, while 165 have more obese than underweight women.
More than a quarter of the world’s obese live in high-income, English-speaking countries, such as Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Nearly 14 percent come from countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
“This epidemic of severe obesity is too extensive to be tackled with medications such as blood pressure-lowering drugs or diabetes treatments alone, or with a few extra bike lanes,” Majid Ezzati, a professor at Imperial College London’s school of public health, told Newsweek. Instead, he said, real change will come through “coordinated global steps,” like taxing sugary and processed foods, and making healthy options more affordable.