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World facing obesity challenge

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Almost a quarter of the world's population will be obese by 2045, according to a new study, reported News.com.au (Australia).

If current trends continue, more than 22 per cent people globally will be classed as obese, up from 14 per cent in 2017, while one-in-eight will have Type-Two diabetes, the projections show.

The researchers, from the US, Denmark and University College London in the UK, warn efforts to tackle obesity must be significantly intensified to stabilise the growing problem.

The findings will be presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Vienna, Austria.

Their projections, based on analysis of population data from a World Health Organisation database, suggest prevalence of diabetes globally will increase from 9.1 per cent to 11.7 per cent by 2045.

Meanwhile, about 55 per cent of the US population will be obese by 2045 if trends continue, the researchers said.

"These numbers underline the staggering challenge the world will face in the future in terms of numbers of people who are obese, or have Type Two diabetes, or both," Dr Alan Moses, of Novo Nordisk Research and Development in Denmark, who will present the study, said.

"As well as the medical challenges these people will face, the costs to countries' health systems will be enormous."

Developing effective global programs to reduce obesity offer the best opportunity to slow or stabilise the unsustainable prevalence of diabetes. But differences in environment and the causes of obesity mean there is no "one-size-fits-all approach" which will work for all countries, Dr Moses said.

Around 425 million people are living with diabetes globally, according to the International Diabetes Federation.

Type Two diabetes, which is thought to be influenced by factors including genetics and lifestyle, makes up the vast majority of cases.

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Reporter: Denes Osvalt
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