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Global obesity rate surpasses 1 billion, WHO study reveals 

Global obesity rate surpasses 1 billion, WHO study reveals 

USA— A recent study published in The Lancet reveals alarming trends in global obesity, indicating that more than 1 billion people worldwide are now living with obesity. 

The research, conducted by the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), analyzed data from over 220 million individuals across 190 countries between 1990 and 2022. 

The findings highlight a significant increase in obesity rates, particularly among children, with rates quadrupling over the 32-year period. 

For girls and boys, obesity rates surged from 1.7% to 6.9% and from 2.1% to 9.3%, respectively. Among adults, obesity rates doubled, with women seeing an increase from 8.8% to 18.5% and men from 4.8% to 14%. 

This rise in obesity comes at the expense of undernutrition, which has seen a decline, making obesity the most prevalent form of malnutrition globally. 

In 2022, 880 million adults and 159 million children were living with obesity, with nations like Tonga, American Samoa, and Nauru recording obesity rates exceeding 60%. 

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The implications of this trend are dire, as obesity poses significant health risks, increasing the likelihood of conditions like type 2 diabetes, cancer, and mental health issues. 

To address this crisis, Prof Majid Ezzati emphasizes the urgent need for improved access to healthy, nutritious foods. 

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, stresses the importance of collaborative efforts between governments, communities, and the private sector to combat obesity. 

In response to these findings, Prof Simon Kenny from NHS England underscores the need for comprehensive support systems, urging coordinated action from various sectors to mitigate the long-term health consequences of obesity.  

In a separate development, the widespread use of potent new weight-loss drugs in the United States is forecasted to potentially boost the gross domestic product by 1% in the coming years, as per financial giant Goldman Sachs. 

These drugs, primarily GLP-1 agonists, are expected to see increased adoption, potentially reaching 10 to 70 million consumers by 2028. 

This rise in usage could not only lead to lower obesity rates but also enhance workplace efficiency, according to Goldman Sachs economists. 

The market for weight-loss drugs could reach US$100 billion annually by the end of the decade, with companies like Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly leading the charge.

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