PLAN B

* Partial extract of the original document of the World Health Authority "WHO / Media centre / Obesity and overweight / Fact sheet June 2016" [http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/]

Obesity and overweight

Key facts

  • Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975.
  • In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 650 million were obese.
  • 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2016, and 13% were obese.
  • Most of the world's population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.
  • 41 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2016.
  • Over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese in 2016.
  • Obesity is preventable.

What are obesity and overweight?

Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health.

Body mass index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults. It is defined as a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in meters (kg/m2).

Facts about overweight and obesity

In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults aged 18 years and older were overweight. Of these over 650 million adults were obese.

In 2016, 39% of adults aged 18 years and over (39% of men and 40% of women) were overweight.

Overall, about 13% of the world’s adult population (11% of men and 15% of women) were obese in 2016.

The worldwide prevalence of obesity nearly tripled between 1975 and 2016.

In 2016, an estimated 41 million children under the age of 5 years were overweight or obese. Once considered a high-income country problem, overweight and obesity are now on the rise in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings. In Africa, the number of overweight children under 5 has increased by nearly 50 per cent since 2000. Nearly half of the children under 5 who were overweight or obese in 2016 lived in Asia.

Over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese in 2016.

The prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents aged 5-19 has risen dramatically from just 4% in 1975 to just over 18% in 2016. The rise has occurred similarly among both boys and girls: in 2016 18% of girls and 19% of boys were overweight.

While just under 1% of children and adolescents aged 5-19 were obese in 1975, more 124 million children and adolescents (6% of girls and 8% of boys) were obese in 2016.

Overweight and obesity are linked to more deaths worldwide than underweight. Globally there are more people who are obese than underweight – this occurs in every region except parts of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

What causes obesity and overweight?

The fundamental cause of obesity and overweight is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. Globally, there has been:

an increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat; and an increase in physical inactivity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanization.

Changes in dietary and physical activity patterns are often the result of environmental and societal changes associated with development and lack of supportive policies in sectors such as health, agriculture, transport, urban planning, environment, food processing, distribution, marketing, and education.

What are common health consequences of overweight and obesity?

BMI/KMI ist ein wichtiger Risikofaktor für nichtübertragbare Krankheiten wie:

  • cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke), which were the leading cause of death in 2012;
  • diabetes;
  • musculoskeletal disorders (especially osteoarthritis – a highly disabling degenerative disease of the joints);
  • some cancers (including endometrial, breast, ovarian, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney, and colon).

The risk for these noncommunicable diseases increases, with increases in BMI.

Childhood obesity is associated with a higher chance of obesity, premature death and disability in adulthood. But in addition to increased future risks, obese children experience breathing difficulties, increased risk of fractures, hypertension, early markers of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and psychological effects.

How can overweight and obesity be reduced?

Overweight and obesity, as well as their related noncommunicable diseases, are largely preventable. Supportive environments and communities are fundamental in shaping people’s choices, by making the choice of healthier foods and regular physical activity the easiest choice (the choice that is the most accessible, available and affordable), and therefore preventing overweight and obesity.

At the individual level, people can:

  • limit energy intake from total fats and sugars;
  • increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts; and
  • engage in regular physical activity (60 minutes a day for children and 150 minutes spread through the week for adults).

Individual responsibility can only have its full effect where people have access to a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, at the societal level it is important to support individuals in following the recommendations above, through sustained implementation of evidence based and population based policies that make regular physical activity and healthier dietary choices available, affordable and easily accessible to everyone, particularly to the poorest individuals. An example of such a policy is a tax on sugar sweetened beverages.

The food industry can play a significant role in promoting healthy diets by:

  • reducing the fat, sugar and salt content of processed foods;
  • ensuring that healthy and nutritious choices are available and affordable to all consumers;
  • restricting marketing of foods high in sugars, salt and fats, especially those foods aimed at children and teenagers; and
  • Densuring the availability of healthy food choices and supporting regular physical activity practice in the workplace.

GLOSSAR

BMI
Body-Mass-Index
kcal
kilocalories: 1 kcal = 1000 calories == 4200 Joule
kilo
in the decimal system 10³ = 1000
kJ
Kilojoule: 1 kJ = 1000 Joule == 239 kcal
MET
Metabolic equivalent for the calculation of energy turnover
PAL
Physical Activity Level
celiac Disease
gluten intolerance

Bibliography

"Referenzwerte für die Nährstoffzufuhr"
Gemeinsames Werk der deutschen, österreichischen und schweizerischen Gesellschaften für Ernährung
Umschau Verlag, 2000, ISBN 3829571143
"Der Einfluss von resistenter Stärke auf die Fettsäureoxidation bei gesunden Erwachsenen"
Inauguraldissertation an der Medizinischen Fakultät der Universität Rostock Aug. 2011: rosdok.uni-rostock.de/file/rosdok_derivate_0000004892/Dissertation_Unger_2012.pdf
Verbraucherzentrale Niedersachsen "Formula-Diäten Vergleich"
Tabelle Formula-Diäten Jan. 2016: www.verbraucherzentrale-niedersachsen.demediabig/1160048A.pdf
Formula-Diät Hintergrund Jan. 2016: www.verbraucherzentrale-niedersachsen.de/mediabig/1160049A.pdf
Diabetes Austria glykämischer Index
www.diabetes-austria.com/dyn/userfiles/pdf/glykaemischer_index.pdf

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