* Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980.
* In 2008, more than 1.4 billion adults, 20 and older, were overweight. Of these over 200 million men and nearly 300 million women were obese.
* 65% of the world's population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.
* More than 40 million children under the age of five were overweight in 2010.
* Obesity is preventable.
Raised BMI is a major risk factor for noncommunicable diseases such as:
# cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke), which were the leading cause of death in 2008;
# musculoskeletal disorders (especially osteoarthritis - a highly disabling degenerative disease of the joints);
# some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon).
The risk for these noncommunicable diseases increases, with the increase in BMI.
Childhood obesity is associated with a higher chance of obesity, premature death and disability in adulthood. But in addition to increased future risks, obese children experience breathing difficulties, increased risk of fractures, hypertension, early markers of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and psychological effects.