India has most underweight people, ranks 5th in obesity

While India and China continue to have the largest number of underweight people in the world, both the countries have also broken into the top five in terms of obesity, a new study published in the Lancet has found

With 102 million men and 101 million women underweight, India leads the world in being home to over 40% of the global underweight population. China is a distant second with about 8% of underweight men and over 12% of underweight women. However, India has also seen a surge in obesity. It had 0.4 million obese men, or 1.3% of the global obese population in 1975, but in 2014, it zoomed into the fifth position globally with 9.8 million obese men, or 3.7% of the global obese men’s population.

Similarly, among women, India has jumped to the third rank with 20 million obese women or 5.3% of global population.

China has followed a similar trajectory to India when it comes to obesity , rising from 13th rank in 1975 for men and 10th among women to the first rank in 2014 for both men and women. It now has the most number of obese persons in the world edging out the US.

“If these trends continue, by 2025, global obesity prevalence will reach 18% in men and surpass 21% in women,” the study , led by Majid Ezzati, professor at the School of Public Health, Imperial College London said. (

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