|Author (Person)||Katsarova, Ivana|
|Author (Corporate)||European Parliament: European Parliamentary Research Service|
|Series Title||EPRS At a Glance|
|Series Details||PE 739.361|
|Publication Date||March 2023|
World Obesity Day – marked every year on 4 March – is a World Obesity Federation initiative supporting practical solutions to help reverse obesity. A person is considered overweight by the World Health Organization if he or she has a body mass index (BMI) – calculated by dividing body weight by the square of height – equal to or greater than 25. Obesity is the condition of severe overweight where a person has a BMI equal to or greater than 30. Worryingly, obesity acts as a gateway to a range of diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and 13 types of cancer. Obesity is on the rise globally. Rates among adults have nearly tripled since 1975, and those among children and adolescents have increased almost five times. The coronavirus pandemic has further exacerbated the problem.
Estimates indicate that by 2035, 1.9 billion people will be living with obesity and the projected global economic impact of overweight and obesity will reach US$ 4.32 trillion. Between 2020 and 2035, child obesity is expected to increase by 100 %. In the EU, over half of adults are considered overweight, a condition that worsens with age, except among those aged 75 or over. The proportion of overweight adults varies across EU countries, with the highest shares recorded in Croatia and Malta, where 65 % of adults were considered overweight in 2019. In contrast, the lowest shares were registered in Italy (46 %), France (47 %) and Luxembourg (48 %). In all EU countries, a higher share of men than women are overweight. The 2022 EU4Health work programme tackles obesity, in particular childhood obesity, by increasing awareness, sharing knowledge and developing best practices. The EU also fights physical inactivity, among other things by holding the European Week of Sport. To help consumers make healthier choices when shopping, the Commission is expected to table a legislative proposal on standardised mandatory front-of-pack nutrition labelling.
|International Organisations||European Union [EU]|