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23 May, 2018

Almost One Quarter of People will be Obese By 2045

A quarter of the world’s population will be obese if we continue our current eating habits, according to a new study.  The research was released at the European Congress on obesity. This year’s conference was held in Vienna.

The findings were presented by Dr Alan Moses of the pharmaceutical company, Novo Nordisk Research and Development. The study was researched in coordination with Søborg, Denmark and Niels Lund of Novo Nordisk Health Advocacy, Bagsværd, Denmark and colleagues from the Steno Diabetes Centre, Gentofte, Denmark, and University College London. 

The researchers also discovered that in order to prevent the widespread type 2 diabetes from going above 10 percent in 2045, global obesity levels must be reduced by 25 percent. Based on current trends in obesity, prevalence worldwide will rise from 14 percent in 2017 to 22 percent in 2045. Diabetes is expected to increase from 9.1 percent to 11.7 percent across the same period.

According to the authors, this will place a further massive strain on health systems which already spend huge sums just to treat diabetes.Commenting on the findings, Dr Moses said: “These numbers underline the staggering challenge the world will face in the future in terms of numbers of people who are obese or have type 2 diabetes, or both. As well as the medical challenges these people will face, the costs to countries’ health systems will be enormous.”

The data collected to investigate the current obese figures, from each country was taken from a World Health Organisation database. The figures were then divided into subcategories such as age. The study also took into account factors such as differences in way of life, nutrition and genetic disposition for diabetes.

The study model suggests in order to stabilise global diabetes prevalence at 10 percent, global obesity must decline steadily by around a quarter. This means that the current level of 14 percent must fall to over 10 percent by 2045.

In the United Kingdom, current obesity figures predict that it will spike from 32 percent today to 48 percent in 27 years. Meanwhile, diabetes levels will rise from 10.2 percent to 12.6 percent. This equates to a 28 percent increase.

In order to stabilise UK diabetes rates at 10 percent, the study proposes obesity nationwide must drop from 32 percent to 24 percent. Ireland has not escaped the current obesity predictions. According to a study, statistics for Irish men who will be overweight or obese in 2030 will have risen to 89 percent from the current 48 percent. The obese and overweight women will have hit the 85 percent mark. Speaking about the findings, Dr Moses said: “The global prevalence of obesity and diabetes is projected to increase dramatically unless prevention of obesity is significantly intensified. Developing effective global programmes to reduce obesity offer the best opportunity to slow or stabilise the unsustainable prevalence of diabetes.

The first step must be the recognition of the challenge that obesity presents and the mobilisation of social service and disease prevention resources to slow the progression of these two conditions.” Hope is not lost as we can take action to reduce the predictions, according to the doctor.

“Despite the challenge all countries are facing with obesity and diabetes, the tide can be turned – but it will take aggressive and coordinated action to reduce obesity and individual cities should play a key role in confronting the issues around obesity, some of which are common to them all and others that are unique to each of them,” the expert concluded.