World Obesity Day marks growing health crisis

11 October 2015

New figures indicate 2.7 billion adults worldwide will be overweight by 2025, up from 2 billion in 2014. 

The figures have been released by the World Obesity Federation on 11 October 2015, World Obesity Day. On current trends, 177 million adults worldwide will be severely obese and in need of treatment by 2025.

In 2012 governments around the world made a commitment to halt the rise in obesity and to bring down the prevalence of overweight and obesity to 2010 levels by the year 2025. 

Consumers International (CI), along with World Obesity Federation, has previously called for tougher action from governments to make it easier for consumers around the world to choose healthier diets. Since 2014 we have advocated for a legally binding global framework to commit governments to take actions to help prevent obesity and other diet related diseases.

Recommended actions include introducing tougher regulations to protect children from the marketing of unhealthy food, ensuring schools promote healthy eating, better food labelling and introducing taxes and subsidies to make healthier food more affordable and to discourage the purchase of unhealthy foods.

Last week CI published an open letter from its Members in Latin America to governments attending the 67th Session of the Regional Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the Americas, which was held in Washington. The letter praised governments in the region for agreeing the 'Plan of Action for the Prevention of Obesity in Children and Adolescents in 2014', which included many of the actions recommended by CI. It went on to urge Member States to mandate the WHO to develop a framework convention for the protection and promotion of healthy diets.

Support for a globally binding legal framework on healthy diets is thought to be strong in the Latin American region with health ministers from the Union of South American Nations moving to promote the idea and promising further action, as reported by the Uruguayan government.