More obese people in the world than underweight

01 April 2016

According to a major study led by scientists from Imperial College London and published in The Lancet, there are now more adults in the world classified as obese than underweight.

The British Dietetic Association (BDA) expresses the stance that obesity is a complex issue and there are many contributing factors to the problem, along with a variety of measures that could be implemented to combat the issue.

The BDA, founded in 1936, is the professional association and trade union for dietitians in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the nation’s largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals with over 8,500 members. 

Alarmingly, as identified by the study, the incidence of obesity amongst men has tripled from 1975 to 2014 and has doubled amongst women in the same period.

Dietitians have a key role to play in this obesity crisis. Dietitians work to promote healthy weight loss, improve illnesses and conditions associated with obesity, optimise dietary intakes and stabilise eating patterns to ensure that nutritional needs are met alongside weight targets. They can work with patients in a structured and patient-centered way to enable sustained healthy changes to diet and lifestyle, supporting long-term weight management success and cost effective treatment.

For more information, please visit the BDA’s FREE resources, Food Fact Sheets, including sheets on Weight Loss, Fad Diets, and Healthy Eating. Additionally, see our Obesity Trust a Dietitian Sheet.


For more information / interview requests, please contact the BDA Press Office on:

0800 048 1714


 Notes to the Editor:

  • Visit the BDA website at
  • Dietitians are the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems at an individual and wider public health level. Uniquely, dietitians use the most up to date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease, which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.
  • Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be statutorily regulated, and governed by an ethical code, to ensure that they always work to the highest standard. Dietitians work in the NHS, private practice, industry, education, research, sport, media, public relations, publishing, non-government organisations and government. Their advice influences food and health policy across the spectrum from government, local communities and individuals.

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