According to the research, between 1975 and 2014, the global prevalence of obesity increased from 3.2 percent to 10.8 percent in men, and from 6.4 percent to 14.9 percent in women. Meanwhile, the prevalence of underweight individuals across the world was 8.8 percent for men in 2014 and 9.7 percent among women that same year.
"If post-2000 trends continue, the probability of meeting the global obesity target is virtually zero. Rather, if these trends continue, by 2025, global obesity prevalence will reach 18% in men and surpass 21% in women; severe obesity will surpass 6% in men and 9% in women," the researchers said.
While obesity is spreading, most of those who could be classified as underweight live in the world’s poorest regions, such as South Asia and Africa, according to the research.
The new study was conducted using the mean body-mass index (BMI) estimates for countries throughout the world.