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One in eight people in the world is obese

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One in eight people in the world is obese

Since 1990, the number of obese adults has more than doubled, and the number of obese children and adolescents has even quadrupled. At the same time, the number of underweight people has fallen, so that obesity is now the most common form of malnutrition. This emerges from figures published by the specialist magazine “The Lancet” and which come from, among others, the World Health Organization (WHO). Accordingly, in 2022 around 159 million children and adolescents and 879 million adults were far too fat.

Obesity is measured by the so-called body mass index (BMI). The weight in kilograms is divided by the square of the height in meters. A 1.80 meter tall man is considered obese if he weighs around 98 kilograms (98 / 1.80² = 30.25), and if he weighs a good 80 kilograms he is overweight.

Of the almost 160 million children and young people who were far too fat in 2022, 65 million were girls and 94 million boys. In 1990 the total number was 31 million. This corresponded to a percentage increase from 1.7 to 6.9 percent for girls and from 2.1 to 9.3 percent for boys. During the same period, the number of underweight girls (BMI less than 18.5 kilograms per square meter) fell from 81 to 77 million, while the number of boys fell from 138 million to 108 million.

Peter-Philipp Schmitt Published/Updated: , Recommendations: 27 Mina Marschall Published/Updated: Recommendations: 25 Sebastian Balzter Published/Updated: , Recommendations: 17

Germany is in the lower midfield

Among adults, significantly more women are obese: in 2022 there were 504 million (1990: 128 million). The number of men affected rose from 67 to 374 million. The percentage increase for women doubled from 8.8 to 18.5 percent, and for men it tripled from 4.8 to 14 percent. The inhabitants of the Pacific (Polynesia and Micronesia) and Caribbean island regions as well as the countries of the Middle East and North Africa are particularly affected by obesity. In Polynesia and Micronesia, almost two-thirds of adults are obese.

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According to the data analysis, Germany is in the lower midfield. Accordingly, in 2022, around 19 percent of women in Germany were far too fat (137th place in the country rankings), and 23 percent of men (80th place). Around seven percent of girls (119th place) and ten percent of boys (111th place) in Germany were considered obese in the same year.

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The WHO on Friday referred to the 2022 World Health Assembly resolution to combat obesity. It includes an action plan until 2030. Among other things, it calls for a healthy diet for small children, which begins with breastfeeding infants; Advertising for unhealthy foods, especially among children and young people, should be limited; There should be regular sports and canteens in schools and no products that are particularly fatty, sugary or salty; Food should be labeled with nutritional information; In addition, WHO member states are calling for awareness campaigns on obesity as part of health care.

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