Do we have a problem here?

Australia, we have a problem. Our butts do look big in those jeans.

An analysis of worldwide trends in body mass index (BMI) has revealed that there are now more obese people in the world compared to those who are underweight.

Professor Majid Ezzati, who authored the study, says that across the world there were 641 million obese people in 2014 compared to the 105 million recorded in 1975. What that means is that there more than 12 per cent of the world’s adults who are obese, and Ezzati says this is likely to increase to 20 per cent by 2025.

Australians are contributing to the obesity issue, with the country’s men ranking sixth and women taking ninth spot in the global rankings.

According to the New South Wales health service Get Healthy, a healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.99. A BMI above 25 is overweight, while more than 30 is obese. Falling into the obese category increases a person’s risk of diabetes, stroke, heart disease and some cancers.

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“The number of people across the globe whose weight poses a serious threat to their health is greater than ever before,” Ezzati says, highlighting that there is a more pronounced trend in Western countries like Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Ireland.

Other key findings include:

  • American Samoa, French Polynesia and Qatar dominated in both gender categories, making these nations the most obese in the world
  • Japanese men and women had the lowest BMI in the high-income world
  • Timor-Leste, Ehtiopia and Eritrea had the lowest average BMI in the world
  • Women in Singapore, Japan, Czech Republic, Belgium, France and Switzerland had almost no increase in BMI over the 40 years.

Have you ever been concerned about your weight or that of a friend/family member? Are you alarmed by these obesity figures?