Health effects of overweight and obesity in 195 countries over 25 years

Ashkan Afshin, Mohammad H. Forouzanfar, Marissa B. Reitsma, Patrick Sur, Kara Estep, Alex Lee, Laurie Marczak, Ali H. Mokdad, Maziar Moradi-Lakeh, Mohsen Naghavi, Joseph S. Salama, Theo Vos, Kalkidan H. Abate, Cristiana Abbafati, Muktar B. Ahmed, Ziyad Al-Aly, Ala'a Alkerwi, Rajaa Al-Raddadi, Azmeraw T. Amare, Alemayehu AmberbirAdeladza K. Amegah, Erfan Amini, Stephen M. Amrock, Ranjit M. Anjana, Johan Ärnlöv, Hamid Asayesh, Amitava Banerjee, Aleksandra Barac, Estifanos Baye, Derrick A. Bennett, Addisu S. Beyene, Sibhatu Biadgilign, Stan Biryukov, Espen Bjertness, Dube J. Boneya, Ismael Campos-Nonato, Juan J. Carrero, Pedro Cecilio, Kelly Cercy, Liliana G. Ciobanu, Leslie Cornaby, Solomon A. Damtew, Lalit Dandona, Rakhi Dandona, Samath D. Dharmaratne, Bruce B. Duncan, Babak Eshrati, Alireza Esteghamati, Valery L. Feigin, João C. Fernandes, GBD 2015 Obesity Collaborators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1675 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Although the rising pandemic of obesity has received major attention in many countries, the effects of this attention on trends and the disease burden of obesity remain uncertain. METHODS: We analyzed data from 68.5 million persons to assess the trends in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adults between 1980 and 2015. Using the Global Burden of Disease study data and methods, we also quantified the burden of disease related to high body-mass index (BMI), according to age, sex, cause, and BMI in 195 countries between 1990 and 2015. RESULTS: In 2015, a total of 107.7 million children and 603.7 million adults were obese. Since 1980, the prevalence of obesity has doubled in more than 70 countries and has continuously increased in most other countries. Although the prevalence of obesity among children has been lower than that among adults, the rate of increase in childhood obesity in many countries has been greater than the rate of increase in adult obesity. High BMI accounted for 4.0 million deaths globally, nearly 40% of which occurred in persons who were not obese. More than two thirds of deaths related to high BMI were due to cardiovascular disease. The disease burden related to high BMI has increased since 1990; however, the rate of this increase has been attenuated owing to decreases in underlying rates of death from cardiovascular disease. CONCLUSIONS: The rapid increase in the prevalence and disease burden of elevated BMI highlights the need for continued focus on surveillance of BMI and identification, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based interventions to address this problem. (Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-27
Number of pages15
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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