Planning for the worst: estimates of obesity and comorbidities in school-age children in 2025

Pediatr Obes. 2016 Oct;11(5):321-5. doi: 10.1111/ijpo.12185.


Background: Member states of the World Health Organization have adopted resolutions aiming to achieve 'no increase on obesity levels' by 2025 (based on 2010 levels) for infants, adolescents and adults.

Objectives: We aimed to assess the scale of the problem facing health planners and service providers.

Methods and results: Using data prepared by the Global Burden of Disease collaborative for 2000 and 2013, we have estimated that by 2025 some 268 million children aged 5-17 years may be overweight, including 91 million obese, assuming no policy interventions have proven effective at changing current trends. We have also estimated the likely numbers of children in 2025 with obesity-related comorbidities: impaired glucose tolerance (12 million), type 2 diabetes (4 million), hypertension (27 million) and hepatic steatosis (38 million). A supplemental table provides estimates for each of 184 nations.

Conclusion: The 2025 targets are unlikely to be met, and health service providers will need to plan for a significant increase in obesity-linked comorbidities.

Keywords: Childhood; comorbidities; diabetes; global; hypertension; obesity; overweight; prevalence; steatosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Global Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Overweight / complications
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Pediatric Obesity / complications
  • Pediatric Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence