More than a billion people worldwide are obese, WHO study finds


LONDON — More than a billion people globally are now considered obese, a condition linked to an increased risk of numerous serious health problems, according to updated estimates from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and an international group of researchers.

Obesity is so prevalent it has become more common than being underweight in most nations, including many low- and-middle income countries that have previously struggled with undernourishment.

“A staggering number of people are living with obesity,” said Imperial College London professor Majid Ezzati, senior author of the paper published in The Lancet on Feb 29.

The findings, considered among the most authoritative of independent estimates, are based on data from more than 220 million people in more than 190 countries.

While obesity rates are plateauing in many wealthier countries, they are rising rapidly elsewhere, Prof Ezzati added.

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