Researchers at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine are predicting that by 2030, almost 58 percent of the world's population will be overweight or obese.
The data examined in "Global Burden of Obesity in 2005 and Projections to 2030," authored by Tanika. Kelly, a doctoral candidate at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, claims that almost one-third of the world is already considered over-weight or obese.
The research holds a lot of importance, as it is the first to pool systematically peer-reviewed data from over 100 countries into one comprehensive global estimate for obesity.
The researchers compiled results from population-based studies that were published in peer-reviewed journals from January 1990 through August 2007. Overall, the researchers employed 72 national, 22 multi-site and 14 regional studies from 106 countries, covering approximately 88 percent of the world's population.
The study reveals that till the year 2005, approximately 23.2 pct of the world's adult population was over-weight and 9.8 pct was obese. More or less 937 million adults were overweight and 396 million were obese, and if similar trend continues the number of overweight individuals will double to 2.16 billion by 2030 and the number of obese adults will grow up to 1.12 billion during the same period of time.
"The high prevalence of overweight and obesity, combined with their concomitant health risks makes it a particularly relevant worldwide public health challenge," the researchers said.
Public health initiatives have already been starting in many developed countries, unfortunately such programs are absent in the developing nations.
"Primary prevention of these conditions is a better alternative to the treatment of obesity, especially in areas where healthcare resources are limited," said the authors.
The study is published in the latest issue of International Journal of Obesity.