The global prevalence of obesity has nearly tripled since 1975.
In 2013, world leaders agreed to reduce obesity and set 2025 as the deadline to meet their targets, but we're still a long way from hitting them.
We must change how we treat obesity to secure better economic and health outcomes worldwide.
The global prevalence of obesity has nearly tripled since 1975, but research demonstrates that calories and willpower are not the problems. Obesity is an underlying pandemic with profound effects on global health. In addition to contributing to the cardiometabolic disease burden, it is a leading risk factor for COVID morbidity and mortality.
In 2011, the United Nations General Assembly met to discuss the global burden of noncommunicable disease (NCD). It identified obesity as one of the most important risk factors for NCDs. As a result, World Health Organization (WHO) member states were tasked with developing a set of goals and strategies targeted at curtailing the expansion of the global obesity pandemic.
In 2013, world leaders agreed on goals to reduce obesity and set 2025 as the deadline for meeting these targets. We’re ten years in, the 2025 deadline is two years away and we still have a long way to go. World Obesity Federation President, John Wilding, recently declared that the global community is “catastrophically off track” to meet the WHO’s obesity targets.
In fact, projections from the World Obesity Federation indicate that 1 billion people will be living with obesity by the end of the decade. The negative health outcomes associated with obesity are serious and impose a significant financial burden on healthcare systems worldwide.
Without a solution, the global economic costs of overweight and obesity are projected to increase from just under $2 trillion in 2020 to $18 trillion by 2060. And, people with obesity face a heightened risk of progressing further on the spectrum of cardiometabolic disease, from obesity to diabetes to liver disease, cardiac events, kidney disease and premature death. We must intervene and begin treating obesity as the root of all cardiometabolic diseases or this underlying pandemic will bankrupt healthcare systems around the world.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Calibrate