The World Obesity Atlas 2022 has revealed that by 2030, one in 13 men and one in five women in Africa, and one in three South African adults, are expected to be obese.
The report was published on Friday, March 4 on World Obesity Day and produced by the World Obesity Federation.
This year’s theme is “Everyone must act”
According to new global estimates, more than a billion people around the world will be obese by 2030, double the number in 2010.
World Obesity Federation chief Johanna Ralston said political and health leaders must recognize the gravity of the situation and take action.
“We expect that the continued rise in obesity worldwide will hamper economic development and lead to high levels of pressure on the health services of many countries.
“Over the past two years, we’ve seen and reported how populations with higher levels of overweight and obesity were more at risk for serious consequences from Covid-19, with higher hospitalizations and deaths.”
South Africa ranks 13th in the top 20 countries.
Of the 434 million men estimated to be obese by 2030, 5 million will be in South Africa.
The report said the global prevalence of obesity was higher in women than in men.
It said 1.6 million South African children aged five to nine are expected to be obese by 2030, and 3.1 million children aged 10 to 19 will be obese by the end of the decade.
The World Obesity Federation said no country is on track to meet the World Health Organization’s 2025 obesity targets (as defined by the Body Mass Index, or BMI), and that obesity rates worldwide will continue to rise.
“The steady increase in severe obesity is a concern worldwide as people with obesity need treatment and care at this point.
“If countries have not invested in services for people with obesity, or do not have the resources to do so, many lives will be severely affected by obesity and many obese people will be left behind.”
The World Obesity Federation said the strongest advocates for taking action to tackle obesity are people who are living with obesity themselves.
It said their life experience injects unique and invaluable insights that can help design, improve and deliver obesity programs, policies and services that work.