Global spread

Obesity is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hypertension and has become one of the leading threats to public health worldwide.

Credit: Source: The WHO Global InfoBase

Off the scale

The prevalence of obesity has almost doubled from 6.4% in 1980 to 12.0% in 2008. Half of this rise occurred between 2000 to 2008.

Credit: Source: Stevens, G. A. et al. Population Health Metrics 10, 22 (2012).

Bigger budgets

Increasing urbanization can negatively affect diets. People tend to eat more energy-dense foods containing more fat and sugar while reducing their intake of complex carbohydrates and dietary fibre.

Credit: Source: WHO Global Health Observatory

Rise of the calories

Since the 1960s, the availability of calories per person has risen steadily across all economic zones.

Credit: Source: World agriculture: towards 2015/2030 (Summary report. Rome, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2002)

In mortal danger

Health surveys in the United States between 1986 and 2006 of people born in a particular year, or ‘birth cohort’, reveal the risk of obesity-related mortality for four major demographic groups. The data shows that risk of death increases as a person ages from 60 years and will likely increase as younger cohorts with earlier onset age.

Credit: Source: Masters, R. K. et al. American Journal of Public Health 103, 1895–1901 (2013).