Chronic diseases and health promotion

Part Two. The urgent need for action

Chapter One. Chronic diseases: causes and health impact


Risk factor projections: overweight and obesity

This section describes the patterns of overweight and obesity projected for 2005 to 2015 globally, regionally, and in the selected countries. The data come from the WHO Global InfoBase (6) which collects, stores, and disseminates data on the major chronic disease risk factors, and uses methods developed for the Comparative Risk Assessment Study (5, 7). Projections for other risk factors are available on the WHO Global InfoBase.

Global profile

Globally, in 2005, it is estimated that over 1 billion people are overweight, including 805 million women, and that over 300 million people are obese. Maps of the worldwide prevalence of overweight in adult women for 2005 and 2015 are shown opposite. If current trends continue, average levels of body mass index are projected to increase in almost all countries. By 2015, it is estimated that over 1.5 billion people will be overweight.

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