More than HALF of world’s 8billion people will be fat by 2035, stark report warns

More than half the world’s population will be overweight or obese by 2035 – wiping trillions of pounds off the potential value of the global economy, a report warns.

The figure is forecast to soar from 2.6billion people (38 per cent) in 2020 to 4billion (51 per cent) in the next 12 years without action to tackle the crisis.

Obesity alone is anticipated to rise from 14 per cent to 24 per cent over this period, according to new analysis by the World Obesity Federation.

It means 2billion adults and children – one in four – will be blighted by the disease, raising their risk of cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

The report blames Covid lockdowns for fuelling weight gain, as the curbs restricted movement outside the home and encouraged couch potato lifestyles and snacking.

The figure is forecast to soar from 2.6billion people (38 per cent) in 2020 to 4billion (51 per cent) in the next 12 years without action to tackle the crisis. Obesity alone is anticipated to rise from 14 per cent to 24 per cent over this period, according to new analysis by the World Obesity Federation

The consequences may proof ‘hard to reverse’, the report adds.

Surging obesity rates are expected to be steepest among kids, growing from 10 per cent to 20 per cent of boys and from 8 per cent to 18 per cent of girls.

The economic impact of overweight and obesity is expected to more than double from £1.64trillion in 2020 to £3.35trillion in 2035.

This includes the healthcare costs of treating obesity and its consequences and the impact of high BMI on economic productivity, including sick leave, reduced productivity while at work, and early retirement or death.

The economic impact is estimated to reduce global output by 2.9 per cent a year by 2035.

By comparison, Covid-19 caused the world economy to shrink by 3 per cent during 2020, the pandemic’s worst year.

The report, named the World Obesity Atlas, says: ‘The period from 2020 to 2022 was marked by extensive restrictions or ‘lockdowns’ in many countries that appear to have increased risk of weight gain by curtailing movements outside the home, exacerbating dietary and sedentary behaviours linked to weight gain, and significantly reducing access to care.

‘In addition, many national surveys and measurement programmes which monitor weight and weight gain were halted.

‘A rise in obesity prevalence, which appears to have occurred especially among children, may prove hard to reverse, and suggests that a side-effect of managing the COVID-19 pandemic is a worsening of the obesity epidemic.’

In the UK, the proportion of adults that are obese is expected to increase by an average of 2.4 per cent a year between 2020 and 2035, to 46 per cent.

Rates in children are forecast to grow by 2.8 per cent per year over this period, to more than 20 per cent.

The UK will have the 17th highest rates of overweight and obesity among men and the 46th highest among women, when ranked with 161 countries.

Meanwhile, the US is forecasted to rank second among men and 29th for women. 

Overweight and obesity is likely to add £27.2billion to the cost of healthcare in the UK in 2035 and cost the wider economy £77billion, 2.4 per cent of GDP.

A spokeswoman for the UK’s Obesity Health Alliance said: ‘These figures are all the more shocking because successive UK governments have had many opportunities to turn the tide on obesity but have failed to grasp them.

Our country is flooded with cheap, unhealthy, heavily processed food and billions is spent on marketing; this needs to change.

‘This government can, and must, make it easier, cheaper and more appealing to buy healthier food and drinks, and to help people reach a healthy weight, especially children, without delay.’

Prevalence of overweight and obesity by nation, forecasted
MEN 2020 WOMEN 2020 MEN 2025 WOMEN 2025 MEN 2030 WOMEN 2030 MEN 2035 WOMEN 2035
Afghanistan 23.27% 30.98% 27.02% 35.73% 31.22% 40.96% 35.89% 46.63%
Albania 68.35% 54.49% 72.16% 57.43% 75.84% 60.41% 79.34% 63.41%
Algeria 64.35% 72.53% 69.37% 76.27% 74.27% 79.76% 78.92% 82.96%
Angola 22.67% 41.09% 26.34% 46.61% 30.51% 52.52% 35.19% 58.67%
Argentina 71.47% 63.61% 74.81% 66.07% 77.99% 68.53% 81.00% 70.98%
Armenia 59.07% 58.19% 62.27% 60.64% 65.52% 63.11% 68.77% 65.60%
Australia 76.39% 63.09% 79.37% 66.20% 82.23% 69.30% 84.94% 72.36%
Austria 67.72% 50.70% 70.96% 53.13% 74.19% 55.61% 77.37% 58.15%
Azerbaijan 56.88% 57.72% 60.30% 60.70% 63.79% 63.72% 67.33% 66.74%
Bahamas, The 67.11% 73.37% 71.35% 75.87% 75.43% 78.28% 79.28% 80.58%
Bahrain 68.58% 71.85% 71.77% 73.65% 74.86% 75.40% 77.83% 77.11%
Bangladesh 21.51% 26.31% 25.44% 30.59% 29.95% 35.33% 35.04% 40.51%
Barbados 49.62% 64.43% 53.73% 67.83% 58.05% 71.18% 62.54% 74.44%
Belarus 68.32% 61.15% 72.05% 63.10% 75.63% 65.05% 79.03% 67.01%
Belgium 73.05% 54.76% 75.72% 56.25% 78.33% 57.76% 80.86% 59.29%
Belize 53.49% 65.72% 57.60% 68.71% 61.85% 71.66% 66.19% 74.53%
Benin 25.37% 44.09% 29.02% 49.44% 33.11% 55.08% 37.65% 60.88%
Bhutan 30.60% 36.17% 36.17% 42.09% 42.33% 48.46% 48.95% 55.13%
Bolivia 59.10% 66.12% 63.85% 69.82% 68.56% 73.42% 73.15% 76.88%
Bosnia and Herzegovina 64.70% 51.05% 67.97% 53.46% 71.20% 55.92% 74.35% 58.41%
Botswana 38.93% 68.34% 45.34% 73.68% 52.19% 78.54% 59.26% 82.81%
Brazil 64.56% 61.75% 69.26% 65.44% 73.81% 69.11% 78.12% 72.70%
Brunei Darussalam 46.87% 46.14% 53.00% 50.23% 59.44% 54.56% 66.00% 59.07%
Bulgaria 73.46% 57.97% 76.45% 59.80% 79.29% 61.64% 81.96% 63.49%
Burkina Faso 18.38% 34.29% 21.19% 39.61% 24.42% 45.53% 28.10% 51.99%
Burundi 16.04% 35.07% 18.01% 40.01% 20.25% 45.43% 22.78% 51.28%
Cabo Verde 34.33% 50.63% 40.04% 56.83% 46.28% 63.12% 52.90% 69.28%
Cambodia 22.25% 28.87% 26.20% 33.21% 30.74% 38.00% 35.87% 43.18%
Cameroon 30.23% 48.82% 34.66% 54.22% 39.60% 59.79% 45.00% 65.39%
Canada 75.67% 63.83% 78.83% 67.21% 81.86% 70.56% 84.72% 73.84%
Central African Republic 21.06% 37.72% 23.68% 41.70% 26.60% 45.96% 29.83% 50.48%
Chad 18.65% 34.69% 21.02% 39.12% 23.70% 43.96% 26.71% 49.19%
Chile 69.83% 65.67% 73.22% 68.14% 76.48% 70.60% 79.58% 73.03%
China 39.94% 34.82% 45.87% 38.92% 52.17% 43.32% 58.67% 48.00%
Colombia 63.34% 66.73% 67.66% 69.78% 71.89% 72.78% 75.96% 75.69%
Comoros 21.40% 40.86% 23.78% 45.33% 26.40% 50.07% 29.29% 55.03%
Congo, Dem. Rep. 20.60% 36.89% 23.57% 41.42% 26.93% 46.34% 30.70% 51.60%
Congo, Rep. 28.30% 42.92% 32.26% 47.16% 36.65% 51.63% 41.45% 56.27%
Costa Rica 66.66% 69.60% 72.02% 73.82% 77.16% 77.83% 81.94% 81.56%
Côte d’Ivoire 28.36% 45.09% 32.30% 49.91% 36.72% 54.96% 41.63% 60.18%
Croatia 71.06% 56.81% 74.24% 59.04% 77.29% 61.30% 80.19% 63.57%
Cyprus 72.81% 59.49% 76.31% 62.57% 79.67% 65.61% 82.84% 68.59%
Czech Republic 73.76% 57.55% 76.14% 58.57% 78.43% 59.59% 80.62% 60.62%
Denmark 69.74% 50.95% 72.98% 52.89% 76.16% 54.86% 79.25% 56.88%
Dominican Republic 63.03% 71.01% 68.72% 74.89% 74.25% 78.56% 79.46% 81.95%
Ecuador 59.42% 65.25% 63.92% 68.73% 68.39% 72.14% 72.78% 75.44%
Egypt, Arab Rep. 62.02% 73.77% 65.82% 76.62% 69.63% 79.33% 73.41% 81.87%
El Salvador 64.24% 68.65% 69.18% 72.51% 74.00% 76.22% 78.58% 79.72%
Equatorial Guinea 22.31% 41.38% 25.35% 46.08% 28.75% 51.06% 32.53% 56.25%
Estonia 63.63% 54.06% 66.33% 54.65% 69.01% 55.24% 71.65% 55.86%
Eswatini 26.35% 59.49% 29.70% 63.93% 33.47% 68.25% 37.69% 72.37%
Ethiopia 15.51% 32.23% 17.41% 36.51% 19.55% 41.21% 21.99% 46.30%
Fiji 66.02% 73.27% 70.27% 76.42% 74.43% 79.38% 78.41% 82.13%
Finland 72.89% 55.73% 76.27% 58.42% 79.52% 61.15% 82.61% 63.89%
France 71.84% 55.77% 74.77% 57.91% 77.64% 60.05% 80.43% 62.19%
Gabon 42.16% 55.68% 48.27% 60.72% 54.69% 65.72% 61.24% 70.56%
Gambia, The 29.61% 46.57% 34.47% 52.44% 39.88% 58.57% 45.80% 64.77%
Georgia 59.21% 57.72% 62.90% 60.82% 66.63% 63.96% 70.37% 67.09%
Germany 70.86% 52.41% 73.87% 54.54% 76.86% 56.73% 79.79% 58.95%
Ghana 26.05% 47.64% 29.86% 52.96% 34.11% 58.48% 38.81% 64.08%
Greece 73.59% 60.54% 76.64% 62.83% 79.60% 65.09% 82.43% 67.34%
Guatemala 57.63% 65.51% 62.26% 69.33% 66.93% 73.08% 71.56% 76.67%
Guinea 21.96% 39.89% 24.99% 44.82% 28.41% 50.10% 32.22% 55.66%
Guinea-Bissau 26.77% 44.67% 31.26% 50.71% 36.34% 57.08% 41.98% 63.56%
Haiti 57.73% 65.39% 64.68% 70.78% 71.62% 75.91% 78.22% 80.61%
Honduras 58.52% 65.85% 63.62% 70.10% 68.71% 74.21% 73.68% 78.12%
Hungary 73.21% 56.00% 75.96% 57.45% 78.59% 58.93% 81.10% 60.42%
Iceland 73.36% 54.57% 76.39% 56.48% 79.33% 58.43% 82.15% 60.40%
India 21.03% 25.39% 24.55% 29.12% 28.55% 33.26% 33.01% 37.82%
Indonesia 30.23% 37.71% 36.29% 43.51% 43.05% 49.80% 50.32% 56.42%
Iran, Islamic Rep. 64.01% 71.50% 68.79% 74.97% 73.45% 78.24% 77.91% 81.30%
Iraq 66.52% 72.53% 70.10% 74.97% 73.61% 77.32% 77.00% 79.56%
Ireland 72.41% 61.20% 76.02% 65.32% 79.56% 69.43% 82.97% 73.44%
Israel 75.93% 61.57% 78.53% 63.19% 81.02% 64.80% 83.39% 66.39%
Italy 70.35% 54.96% 73.11% 57.07% 75.81% 59.18% 78.45% 61.29%
Jamaica 53.28% 68.93% 58.39% 72.50% 63.63% 75.94% 68.92% 79.20%
Japan 35.50% 23.13% 38.78% 24.19% 42.26% 25.30% 45.93% 26.50%
Jordan 74.00% 78.48% 77.95% 81.20% 81.63% 83.72% 84.98% 86.03%
Kazakhstan 59.22% 57.06% 62.75% 60.02% 66.30% 63.00% 69.84% 66.00%
Kenya 18.65% 39.44% 21.05% 44.47% 23.76% 49.89% 26.81% 55.60%
Korea, Rep. 40.59% 31.54% 44.97% 34.21% 49.54% 37.04% 54.24% 40.03%
Kuwait 77.31% 78.94% 80.05% 80.51% 82.64% 82.01% 85.04% 83.45%
Kyrgyz Republic 51.36% 52.55% 54.84% 55.89% 58.46% 59.30% 62.21% 62.77%
Lao PDR 26.04% 32.85% 31.19% 37.97% 37.08% 43.57% 43.66% 49.54%
Latvia 65.14% 57.53% 68.00% 58.39% 70.83% 59.26% 73.60% 60.15%
Lebanon 73.44% 74.92% 77.03% 77.42% 80.41% 79.80% 83.54% 82.04%
Lesotho 24.60% 60.59% 28.19% 65.58% 32.26% 70.40% 36.82% 74.94%
Libya 69.67% 75.43% 73.37% 77.92% 76.92% 80.29% 80.28% 82.52%
Lithuania 67.88% 60.58% 70.96% 61.87% 73.96% 63.18% 76.87% 64.50%
Luxembourg 72.55% 54.74% 75.84% 57.09% 79.03% 59.47% 82.07% 61.88%
Madagascar 20.44% 34.16% 23.17% 38.58% 26.24% 43.42% 29.68% 48.63%
Malawi 17.41% 36.76% 19.55% 41.63% 21.95% 46.93% 24.67% 52.60%
Malaysia 49.79% 50.91% 57.28% 57.02% 64.88% 63.29% 72.23% 69.52%
Maldives 30.69% 39.88% 36.26% 45.72% 42.44% 52.07% 49.12% 58.78%
Mali 23.66% 41.21% 27.32% 46.78% 31.50% 52.75% 36.19% 59.01%
Malta 77.56% 62.77% 80.07% 64.30% 82.48% 65.82% 84.77% 67.32%
Mauritania 32.06% 51.39% 37.19% 57.51% 42.84% 63.70% 48.92% 69.74%
Mauritius 28.15% 44.13% 30.66% 47.47% 33.40% 50.96% 36.39% 54.57%
Mexico 70.20% 71.20% 74.08% 74.07% 77.77% 76.84% 81.22% 79.50%
Moldova 58.71% 54.27% 62.20% 56.19% 65.70% 58.14% 69.20% 60.12%
Mongolia 59.79% 59.75% 64.15% 63.25% 68.53% 66.75% 72.85% 70.22%
Montenegro 73.29% 59.21% 77.26% 62.59% 80.96% 65.95% 84.33% 69.26%
Morocco 62.77% 70.29% 67.48% 74.04% 72.11% 77.59% 76.58% 80.90%
Mozambique 22.08% 40.50% 25.22% 45.79% 28.75% 51.43% 32.69% 57.29%
Myanmar 24.24% 31.92% 28.33% 36.39% 32.95% 41.39% 38.09% 46.89%
Namibia 30.93% 57.82% 35.54% 62.51% 40.74% 67.11% 46.51% 71.54%
Nepal 22.89% 27.33% 26.68% 31.84% 30.96% 36.82% 35.73% 42.23%
Netherlands 71.66% 55.70% 75.51% 58.91% 79.23% 62.15% 82.77% 65.41%
New Zealand 76.41% 65.67% 79.47% 68.81% 82.41% 71.90% 85.20% 74.92%
Nicaragua 60.79% 66.60% 65.11% 69.93% 69.42% 73.18% 73.66% 76.33%
Niger 16.85% 34.45% 19.00% 39.09% 21.42% 44.20% 24.15% 49.73%
Nigeria 25.67% 42.56% 29.68% 48.25% 34.23% 54.33% 39.33% 60.65%
North Macedonia 69.93% 54.81% 72.90% 56.64% 75.77% 58.49% 78.52% 60.36%
Norway 71.34% 55.90% 74.84% 58.58% 78.26% 61.31% 81.54% 64.05%
Oman 69.31% 74.17% 74.46% 78.10% 79.28% 81.70% 83.63% 84.94%
Pakistan 30.12% 36.46% 34.57% 41.29% 39.45% 46.48% 44.68% 51.98%
Panama 63.21% 67.30% 67.84% 70.85% 72.40% 74.32% 76.81% 77.65%
Paraguay 60.71% 59.93% 65.64% 64.24% 70.51% 68.53% 75.21% 72.72%
Peru 60.45% 64.62% 64.40% 67.39% 68.33% 70.14% 72.18% 72.84%
Philippines 31.30% 34.39% 35.78% 38.44% 40.65% 42.84% 45.84% 47.57%
Poland 70.07% 54.09% 72.98% 55.61% 75.79% 57.15% 78.48% 58.70%
Portugal 69.49% 57.81% 73.44% 61.35% 77.31% 64.87% 81.01% 68.33%
Qatar 75.71% 77.01% 78.77% 78.78% 81.65% 80.50% 84.34% 82.14%
Romania 69.48% 55.05% 72.83% 57.24% 76.06% 59.46% 79.14% 61.69%
Russian Federation 62.11% 58.64% 65.12% 59.45% 68.12% 60.28% 71.08% 61.12%
Rwanda 17.96% 39.13% 20.66% 44.72% 23.78% 50.75% 27.37% 57.11%
Samoa 79.34% 86.32% 82.19% 88.31% 84.87% 90.09% 87.33% 91.66%
Saudi Arabia 75.49% 78.20% 79.35% 80.92% 82.92% 83.44% 86.14% 85.75%
Senegal 22.66% 40.91% 25.42% 45.18% 28.49% 49.72% 31.88% 54.50%
Serbia 68.92% 54.58% 72.18% 56.83% 75.35% 59.11% 78.37% 61.41%
Sierra Leone 22.34% 41.47% 25.28% 46.17% 28.60% 51.18% 32.33% 56.44%
Singapore 39.61% 28.48% 42.20% 28.85% 44.90% 29.24% 47.69% 29.64%
Slovak Republic 68.99% 52.79% 71.96% 54.70% 74.84% 56.63% 77.61% 58.58%
Slovenia 67.20% 53.73% 70.25% 55.76% 73.23% 57.82% 76.11% 59.89%
South Africa 46.28% 70.62% 51.55% 73.74% 57.11% 76.69% 62.85% 79.46%
Spain 74.44% 58.67% 77.32% 60.77% 80.09% 62.87% 82.74% 64.96%
Sri Lanka 21.22% 31.32% 24.47% 35.52% 28.15% 40.17% 32.27% 45.27%
Sweden 69.72% 51.72% 72.90% 53.66% 76.03% 55.64% 79.07% 57.66%
Switzerland 70.64% 52.35% 74.45% 55.52% 78.14% 58.74% 81.64% 62.00%
Tajikistan 47.06% 49.13% 50.09% 52.26% 53.28% 55.50% 56.62% 58.83%
Tanzania 22.67% 41.27% 25.81% 46.70% 29.34% 52.49% 33.29% 58.51%
Thailand 32.94% 41.24% 38.64% 47.08% 44.89% 53.42% 51.55% 60.12%
Timor-Leste 22.08% 28.54% 26.12% 32.76% 30.74% 37.42% 35.98% 42.50%
Togo 22.84% 41.39% 25.93% 46.40% 29.40% 51.75% 33.24% 57.34%
Tonga 80.33% 86.51% 83.20% 88.52% 85.85% 90.30% 88.26% 91.86%
Trinidad and Tobago 42.41% 60.83% 46.90% 65.69% 51.77% 70.46% 57.00% 75.05%
Tunisia 63.77% 72.06% 68.30% 75.38% 72.76% 78.52% 77.05% 81.45%
Turkey 71.30% 76.38% 75.73% 79.75% 79.90% 82.85% 83.75% 85.65%
Turkmenistan 55.51% 54.87% 59.07% 58.06% 62.72% 61.32% 66.43% 64.60%
Uganda 15.88% 35.72% 17.79% 40.42% 19.94% 45.53% 22.36% 51.01%
Ukraine 66.02% 58.81% 69.21% 60.08% 72.33% 61.36% 75.36% 62.66%
United Arab Emirates 70.28% 74.12% 73.40% 76.02% 76.43% 77.87% 79.36% 79.65%
United Kingdom 74.04% 63.78% 77.24% 67.02% 80.35% 70.24% 83.34% 73.41%
United States 78.74% 69.10% 81.99% 72.69% 85.03% 76.13% 87.80% 79.39%
Uruguay 70.00% 65.01% 73.47% 67.40% 76.80% 69.78% 79.95% 72.14%
Uzbekistan 51.39% 52.70% 54.81% 56.00% 58.38% 59.38% 62.06% 62.81%
Vanuatu 58.37% 68.47% 62.99% 72.55% 67.69% 76.40% 72.36% 79.98%
Vietnam 17.91% 23.19% 21.44% 26.57% 25.57% 30.34% 30.36% 34.48%
West Bank and Gaza 70.16% 74.81% 73.94% 77.46% 77.57% 79.98% 81.00% 82.35%
Zambia 21.08% 39.79% 23.15% 43.35% 25.42% 47.13% 27.90% 51.10%
Zimbabwe 27.09% 60.41% 30.57% 64.69% 34.41% 68.85% 38.62% 72.82%

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