April 22, 2024

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WHO: Slimming Pills Can’t Solve Global Obesity Problem for One Billion People

WHO: Slimming Pills Can’t Solve Global Obesity Problem for One Billion People



WHO: Slimming Pills Can’t Solve Global Obesity Problem for One Billion People

World Health Organization (WHO) officials have warned that popular and effective slimming pills are not enough to solve a global problem affecting over one billion people.

In its first global public study since 2017, WHO on Thursday reported that the obesity rate among children and adolescents has tripled since 1990, while the rate among adults has more than doubled, with approximately one in eight people globally being obese.

WHO: Slimming Pills Can't Solve Global Obesity Problem for One Billion People

While the obesity rates in some affluent countries have stabilized, particularly in Europe, the research team found that the rates in low- and middle-income countries are rapidly increasing. The group, in a study published in The Lancet, noted that in many countries, the primary concern has shifted from underweight due to malnutrition to obesity.

By 2030, the market for new slimming pills like Novo Nordisk’s “Nohetai” and Lilly’s Zepbound could reach $80 billion. However, Majid Ezzati, a professor of global environmental health at Imperial College London and one of the authors of the study, suggested that they could exacerbate the growing inequality in obesity treatment.

“These drugs are definitely an important tool, but should not be seen as a solution to the problem,” said Francesco Branca, Director of Nutrition and Food Safety at WHO. “The solution still lies in food system and environmental changes.” He is also a co-author of the study.

In 2022, WHO member states adopted an obesity response plan that includes a range of proposed policy adjustments, such as promoting breastfeeding, restricting the promotion of unhealthy foods and beverages to children, nutrition labeling, and setting standards for school physical activities. Guha Pradeepa, a research co-author from the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, suggested that climate change, war, and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could increase the cost of healthy foods and lead to simultaneous increases in obesity and underweight rates.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of global obesity rates, over 1,500 researchers surveyed the weight and height of over 220 million people in more than 190 countries. Adult obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or higher, while childhood obesity definitions vary with weight and age. They found that in 2022, there could be over 879 million obese adults and 159 million obese children.

WHO: Slimming Pills Can’t Solve Global Obesity Problem for One Billion People

(source:internet, reference only)


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