Global obesity has reached pandemic levels: Report

Urgent action is required to limit the global fallout from rising obesity levels, according to a report published by Aetna International

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Urgent action is required to limit the global fallout from rising obesity levels, according to a report published by Aetna International, one of the world's leading health insurance providers.

Aetna International combined data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations, governments and the global food industry to form a comprehensive analysis which presents a true picture of global obesity. The report, "Globesity: Tackling the world's obesity pandemic", calls upon governments, food producers, retailers, employers and insurance companies to combine their efforts to tackle the obesity crisis.

Richard di Benedetto, President of Aetna International, said: "The rise in obesity rates make it clear; there needs to be a shift in the narrative around diet and healthy living. We must work together to combine our knowledge and expertise in order to curb the rise of globesity."

The WHO statistics show that obesity rates have more than doubled since 1980, with 13 percent of adults worldwide classified as obese and nearly 40 percent as overweight. The report findings show that these numbers will rise further if urgent, collaborative and targeted action is not taken.

The report concludes that the only way to tackle globesity is through a newly formed holistic approach combining health incentives, taxes and education programs. It has been proven that one of the most effective means of reducing obesity is providing clear information about the direct correlation between nutrition, weight gain and non-communicable diseases.

"Aetna is committed to being part of the solution to globesity and to creating a stronger, healthier global community. We are working towards establishing a think-tank with the sole purpose of finding solutions to the problems presented by worldwide obesity", concludes Mr di Benedetto.

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