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Sunday July 22, 2018


Weight-related deaths can affect non-obese too

Of the 4 million deaths attributed to being overweight in 2015, nearly 40% were not considered clinically obese. "People who shrug off weight gain do so at their own risk - risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and other life-threatening conditions," said Dr Christopher Murray, author of the study and director of the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

The study, which looked at 195 countries and territories over a period of 35 years, from 1980 to 2015, has revealed that 30% of the world's population - 2.2 billion children and adults - are affected by excess weight.

This includes nearly 108 million children and more than 600 million adults who are categorised as a having a BMI of higher than 30 and therefore medically defined as obese.

Since 1980, obesity has doubled in more than 70 countries. In 2015, 5 percent of children overall were obese, and 12 percent of adults. Peak obesity rates were in older adults over 50, and women were more likely to be obese than men in every age bracket. Also as of 2015, there are about 108 million obese children and 604 million obese adults worldwide. There are fewer obese children than adults, but children are getting obese faster, with the rate of obesity growing especially quickly among children in countries like China and Brazil.

All this said, even though the overall rate of death is increasing, there isn’t a very significant change when you adjust for the age and population. In other words, even though there are more people dying overall from being obese, obese people are healthier and living for longer years than in the past because of better medical care. But in this case living longer means more years living with obesity and associated diseases like diabetes . For instance, in 2015, high BMI led to people worldwide living a total of 28.6 million years with a form of disability.

Overall, the authors conclude that obesity remains a growing public health problem, and one that we need to continue keeping track of and fighting.

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