They examined obesity rates, average weight gain and the cause of death in 195 countries.
According to the study, obesity has doubled since 1980 in more than 70 countries.
Lead researcher Dr. Christopher Murray who is heading the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation noted that people who ignore their weight problems do it at their own risk. Although the prevalence of obesity among children has been lower than among adults, the rate of increase in childhood obesity in many countries was greater than that of adults.
The majority of premature deaths reported in the study were from cardiovascular disease, followed by diabetes.
The global obesity epidemic just keeps getting worse.
San Francisco: A recent report from the University of Washington revealed that more than 2 billion people worldwide are overweight or obese, Anadolu Agency reported.
Nearly 108 million children and more than 600 million adults were found to be obese.
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Overweight children are at higher risk for the early onset of diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease. "In general, the prevalence of obesity among both women and men increased with the increase in the SDI [socio-demographic index which is based on average income per person, educational attainment, and total fertility rate (TFR)] across all age groups", researchers said. Over 710 million were obese, meaning 12 percent of all adults and five percent of all children have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more.
A new study finds one third of the world's population is overweight or considered obese. In the US, the number of obese adults reached 79.4 million, followed by China with 57.3 million, which was the highest rate on record in 2015.
Obesity and inactivity could someday account for more cancer deaths than smoking if current trends continue. Together, that's about 10 percent of the world's population. A BMI score over 25 is overweight, over 30 is obese and over 40 is morbidly obese.
The authors of the paper, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, describe "a growing and disturbing global public health crisis".
People who have higher than normal BMI are in serious health risk. "Increased availability, accessibility, and affordability of energy dense foods, along with intense marketing of such foods, could explain excess energy intake and weight gain among different populations".
Another potential cause is that more people live and work in urban environments and have fewer opportunities for physical activity.
BMI is calculated by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by his height in metres squared, and is an indication of whether a person is a healthy weight.