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World Obesity Day - Everybody Needs to Act

Obesity is a global problem, and it affects us all. Around 800 million of us are living with the disease, with millions more at risk. We know the roots of obesity run deep, and the only way we can make progress is by working together. World Obesity Day calls for action at local, national, and global levels to address rising rates of obesity, reduce the stigma faced by people living with obesity, and improve the systems that contribute to obesity around the world. Together, we can give everybody the best chance to live happier, healthier, and longer lives.

World Obesity Day takes place on Friday 4 March.

For this year’s World Obesity Day, we want to help people understand the scale and impact of obesity around the world.

  • 800 million people around the world are living with obesity

  • The medical consequences of obesity will cost over $1 trillion by 2025

  • People living with obesity are twice as likely to be hospitalised if tested positive for Covid-19

  • Childhood obesity is expected to increase by 60% over the next decade, reaching 250 million by 2030.

One look at global obesity rates is enough to tell you that we’re not where we need to be, with almost one in every six adults worldwide currently living with the disease.

Once viewed as a problem for the most developed countries, obesity is rising on every continent, with the largest increases now taking place in South Asia and parts of Africa – areas where there was previously minimal prevalence.

Even more concerning, it’s not just adult obesity rising on every continent but childhood obesity too. At present, no country stands a chance of reaching its 2025 obesity targets.

But if everybody comes together for World Obesity Day, we can achieve big things.

This year, our ambition is higher than ever. Never before has there been such understanding of the root causes of obesity – and now it’s time to turn that knowledge into action.

Everybody has their part to play. At a local level, we need to ensure that our health systems, schools, and employers are equipped to reduce the risk and impacts of obesity. Nationally, we will pressure our institutions and representatives to ensure they’re doing all they can to tackle the structural roots of obesity. While at the global level, we can work with global leaders, policymakers and the WHO to address obesity through the development of comprehensive global and national action plans.

More respect. Better care. Bold policies. Real action. Together, we can give everybody the chance to live happier, healthier and longer lives.


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