India has the second highest number of obese children in the world, according to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. While India has 14.4 million of them, China tops the chart with 15.3 million obese children.
Globally, more than two billion children and adults suffer from health problems related to obesity. The findings of the study are based on 195 countries and territories and span from 1980 to 2015. According to the study, obesity has doubled since 1980 in more than 70 countries. “Excess body weight is one of the most challenging public health problems of our time, affecting nearly one in every three people,” said Ashkan Afshin, from University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, according to PTI.
The study finds that United States has the highest level of obesity among children and young adults at nearly 13% while Egypt topped the list for adult obesity at around 35%. “People who shrug off weight gain do so at their own risk—risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and other life-threatening conditions,” said Christopher Murray, from the University of Washington, according to PTI.
The year 2015 was particularly bad. As many as 2.2 billion children and adults across the world were suffering from excess weight. Nearly 108 million children and over 600 million adults had their body mass index (BMI) above 30, the threshold for obesity.
Further, an increasing number of people are dying even though they are not technically considered obese. Of the 4 million deaths attributed to excess body weight in 2015, nearly 40 per cent occurred among people whose BMI was below the threshold for obesity.