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Over 1 billion of the world population are obese – Report  

A recent publication by The Lancet Group reveals that more than one billion people out of the world’s population are now classified as obese, significantly posing a global health risk.  

According to a study published on The Lancet’s official website on Sunday, there’s been an alarming rise in obesity, with adult rates doubling and childhood and adolescent rates (ages five to 19) quadrupling since 1990. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) characterizes obesity as the accumulation of abnormal or excessive fat, impacting those who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) exceeding 25. 

Interestingly, the report shows that obesity has surpassed underweight as a prevalent issue, even in low- and middle-income countries.  

In 2019 alone, approximately five million deaths were reported to be the result of higher-than-ideal Body Mass Index (BMI) levels, pointing to the dire seriousness of the obesity issue worldwide. 

The study, undertaken by over 1,500 researchers from the Non-Communicable Diseases Risk Factor Collaboration in conjunction with the WHO, draws upon data from more than 220 million individuals from 190 countries, establishing it as one of the broadest assessments to date. 

Mrs Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Nutrition and Food Safety Department, said that the report served as a wake-up call, urging immediate action to stem the tide of rising obesity rates globally. 

Of late, stakeholders in the health sectors have called on the implementation a 20% tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) as a primary measure to curb the overconsumption of SSBs and the prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).