Lancet study says there are more obese than underweight people in the world

Research led by scientists from Imperial College London compared the body mass index (BMI) of 20 million adults to find that there are more adults in the world who are obese than underweight.

The research was published in UK medical journal The Lancet and monitored the cross section of people between 1975 to 2014, reports BBC Health.

Over the course of nearly 40 years it was found that obesity in men has tripled and at least doubled with regards to women.

The lead author of the report Professor Majid Ezzat commented that the study has revealed an "epidemic of severe obesity" and has said that governments have a responsibility to step in and halt the increasing obesity figures.

Global obesity rates among men have increased from 3.2 per cent to 10.8 per cent and rose from 6.4 per cent to 14.9 per cent for women, both of which occurred over the period between 1975 to 2014.

In comparison, the team found that the rate of people in the world who are underweight shrunk from 14 per cent to nine per cent in men and 15 per cent to 10 per cent during the same time period.

The study has said that this huge rise in percentage is equal to 266 million obese men and 375 million obese women throughout the world.

Further to this, the research predicted that by 2025, the UK will have the largest amount of obese women in Europe, as there are currently 7.7 million obese women in Britain.

Posted by Philip Briggs


Health News is provided by Axonn Media in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Axonn Media and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...



© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)