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World Study: Obese People Outnumber Underweight People

| by Michael Allen
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While it is well known that the U.S. has an obesity problem, a new study finds that overweight people now outnumber underweight people across the globe for the first time in recorded history.

The study was performed by researchers at the Imperial College London and published in The Lancet medical journal.

The study used data from previous reports, studies and surveys that included 19.2 million men and women from 186 countries.

The study estimated that the number of obese people went from 105 million in 1975 to 641 million in 2014, notes BBC News.

Underweight people went from an estimated 330 million to 462 million during the same time period.

The study found that an estimated 10.8 percent of men and 14.9 percent of women had reached the level of obesity, while 8.8 percent of men and 9.7 percent of women were classified as underweight, reports ABC News.

Obesity was defined by a body mass index (BMI) of over 30, while underweight was under 18.5.

If this obesity trend continues, researchers believe that about one fifth of men and women worldwide will end up obese, and an estimated 6 percent of men and 9 percent of women will tip the scales at severely obese.

"If present trends continue, not only will the world not meet the obesity target of halting the rise in the prevalence of obesity at its 2010 level by 2025, but more women will be severely obese than underweight by 2025," Professor Majid Ezzati of the School of Public Health at Imperial College London stated.

"To avoid an epidemic of severe obesity, new policies that can slow down and stop the worldwide increase in body weight must be implemented quickly and rigorously evaluated, including smart food policies and improved health-care training," Ezzati added.

Sources: ABC NewsBBC NewsThe Lancet / Photo Credit: Bennysaunders/Wikimedia

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