Chapter 3 Additional World Health Assembly Nutrition Indicators

This section assesses progress towards three additional global nutrition targets endorsed by the World Health Assembly: adult obesity, exclusive breastfeeding and low birthweight.

3.1 ADULT OBESITY

The latest data available on adult obesity are from 2016. That year, the prevalence of adult obesity was 13.1 percent worldwide (up from 11.2 percent in 2010) and 25.3 percent in the ECA region (up from 22.3 percent in 2010) (FIGURE 16, TABLE 11). The prevalence in the ECA region and all its subregions consistently has been above global levels. In 2016, the prevalence in the ECA region was nearly double the global figure, and it was above 20 percent in all ECA subregions except Central Asia (17.7 percent). The subregions most affected by this form of malnutrition were the EU-27 and the United Kingdom (25.4 percent), CIS Europe and Ukraine (25.7 percent) and the “other” group of countries that includes Israel and Türkiye (31.7 percent).

A comparison between 2000 and 2016 shows an increase in the prevalence of adult obesity in all 52 countries for which data are available. Albania and almost all countries in Central Asia had the largest increases (over 60 percent) in the region from 2000 to 2016 (78 percent in Tajikistan, 73 percent in Kyrgyzstan, 69 percent in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and 64 percent in Albania).

FIGURE 16

Prevalence of obesity among adults by subregion

SOURCE: Adapted from WHO. 2020. Global Health Observatory (GHO) data repository. In: WHO. [Cited 28 April 2020]. https://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A900A?lang=en
Download: https://doi.org/10.4060/CC8608EN-fig16
TABLE 11.

Prevalence of obesity among adults by subregion, percent

2000200520102012201420152016
WORLD8.79.911.211.812.512.813.1
Europe and Central Asia18.220.122.323.224.324.825.3
Caucasus13.114.817.018.219.520.220.9
Central Asia11.012.614.715.616.617.117.7
CIS Europe and Ukraine20.321.523.123.924.825.225.7
EFTA countries15.717.920.020.921.822.222.6
EU-27 and the United Kingdom18.120.222.523.424.424.925.4
Other20.523.727.128.730.230.931.7
Western Balkans15.417.419.620.621.522.022.5
SOURCE: Adapted from WHO. 2020. Global Health Observatory (GHO) data repository. In: WHO. [Cited 28 April 2020]. https://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A900A?lang=en

FIGURE 17 shows that in 2016, Türkiye had the highest prevalence of obesity in the adult population, with almost one in three adults (32.1 percent) being obese. At least one in four adults was obese in nine additional countries: Andorra (25.6 percent), Bulgaria (25 percent), Czechia (26 percent), Hungary (26.4 percent), Ireland (25.3 percent), Israel (26.1 percent), Lithuania (26.3 percent), Malta (28.9 percent) and the United Kingdom (27.8 percent). A lower prevalence of obesity among adults in the ECA region was found in several Central Asian countries: Kyrgyzstan (16.6 percent), Tajikistan (14.2 percent) and Uzbekistan (16.6 percent).

FIGURE 17

Prevalence of obesity among adults by country and subregion

SOURCE: Adapted from WHO. 2020. Global Health Observatory (GHO) data repository. In: WHO. [Cited 28 April 2020]. https://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A900A?lang=en
Download: https://doi.org/10.4060/CC8608EN-fig17