According to a new report, the number of people who are obese or overweight have gone up dramatically over the last 30 years.lwpkommunikacio/Flickr

Obesity epidemic is continuing to take its toll on the world. The number of people who are obese or overweight have gone up dramatically over the last 30 years, according to a new report.

The report published in journal The Lancet found that nearly 2.1 billion people (30 percent of total population) in the world are obese or overweight currently, compared to 857 million people in 1980, Health Day reported.

A body mass index (BMI) of 25 and above is considered to be overweight, while a BMI higher than 30 is obese. BMI is a number calculated from a person's weight and height, to measure body fat.

Researchers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, collected data from 188 countries and found obesity rates going up in both men and women. While only 29 percent of the men were obese in 1980, it went up to 37 percent in 2013. Similarly, in women, the rates went up from 30 percent in 1980 to 38 percent this year. Similarly, during the same period, obesity in children and teens saw a 50 percent increase.

The United States (13 percent) had the highest proportion of world's obese people.

Concerned with the findings, researchers urged the introduction of better interventions to solve this problem.

"Obesity is an issue affecting people of all ages and incomes, everywhere," Dr. Christopher Murray, director of IHME and a co-founder of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, said in a news release. "In the last three decades, not one country has achieved success in reducing obesity rates, and we expect obesity to rise steadily as incomes rise in low- and middle-income countries in particular, unless urgent steps are taken to address this public health crisis."

Efforts to put an end to the obesity epidemic have been on from a long time as the condition can increase the risk of many deadly diseases. Following are some diseases associated with obesity, as provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institute of Health of the US:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome. It is a combination of medical disorders like obesity and high blood pressure that occurs together and increases the risk for coronary artery disease, diabetes and stroke.
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Breast, colon endometrial and gallbladder cancer
  • Sleep apnea
  • Liver and gallbladder disease
  • Infertility and reproductive problems
  • Osteoarthritis, a condition that leads to joint problems in hips, knees and lower back.

Following are certain factors that increase the risk of obesity, provided by Mayo Clinic, in the US:

  • Family history and genetics
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Sleep deprivation