While India seeks to become a major world power by 2015, so will it be in terms of obesity as well, says a new study, which found that Indian obese population doubled in the last 40 years since 1975.
Based on a survey by lead author Majid Ezzati of Imperial College London, the looming epidemic of obesity in India will come true by 2015. The survey studied 1,698 studies of 19.2 million adults from 186 countries covering 99 percent of the world’s population, excluding children.
Currently, 641 million out of 5 billion adults are obese and the figure is expected to cross 1.1 billion by 2025.
“There will be health consequences of magnitudes that we do not know,” said Ezzati, whose paper was published in the Lancet medical journal. “Obesity and especially severe and morbid obesity, affect many organs and physiological processes. We can deal with some of these, like higher cholesterol or blood pressure, through medicines. But for many others, including diabetes, we don’t have effective treatment,” he noted.
Obesity is measured based on body mass index (BMI) and those who weigh 25 and above are considered obese depending on a ratio of weight-to-height squared. Obesity follows diseases such as diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular and cancer. If the BMI is 35, then they are cat3egorized severely obese and more than 40 means they are morbidly obese, said researchers.
“If the rate of obesity continues at this pace, by 2025 roughly a fifth of men (18 per cent) and women (21 per cent) will be obese,” said the journal warning that more than 6 percent of men and 9 percent of women will be severely obese by 2015.
When the survey was conducted in 2014, world’s fattest people lived in Polynesia and Micronesia in the Pacific, with 38% men and 50% women in obese category, observed the study. About one-fifth or 20% of the world population or 118 million obese people live in 6 developed nations of the U.S., Britain, Ireland, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
While one in four is severely obese in the US now, by 2025, one in five in India will be obese, warned the study.