Worldwide Trends in Body-Mass Index From 1975 to 2016

Worldwide Trends in Body-Mass Index From 1975 to 2016

The number of obese children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 19 worldwide has risen tenfold over the past four decades, a report from the World Health Organization and Imperial College London finds. According to the report, Worldwide Trends in Body-Mass Index, Underweight, Overweight, and Obesity From 1975 to 2016 (16 pages, PDF), obesity rates increased from less than 1 percent in 1975 to nearly 5.6 percent for girls and nearly 7.8 percent in boys in 2016, with the total number of obese 5-to-19-year-olds increasing from 11 million to 124 million, with another 213 million overweight (though below the threshold for obesity). The study also found that while the rising trend in BMI among children and adolescents has plateaued in many high-income countries, albeit at high levels, it has accelerated in parts of Asia. At the same time, the number of children and adolescents who are moderately or severely underweight outnumbered those who were obese in 2016, highlighting the need for policies that enhance food security in low-income countries and households, especially in south Asia.